Undocumented immigrants in California often face intense scrutiny and discrimination. And never has the debate of immigration been more heated than it has been this summer. Given the upheaval in the undocumented immigrant community, it can be refreshing for those affected by the immigration debate to know they aren’t alone.
A prominent writer, now residing in Manhattan, came with his parents to the United States the age of 12. He and his family lived in the state of California throughout the young man’s teen years. When he turned 16, he went to get his driver’s permit and learned that his green card was a fake. Unbeknownst to the young man, he was an undocumented immigrant, living life as an American “citizen.”
From that day forward, the future writer assumed a double life. He went on to graduate high school and college and became an award-winning writer for prominent publications like the Washington Post and California’s San Francisco Chronicle.
However, not long ago, he wrote a piece that was published in the New York Times Magazine, confessing that every day was a day lived in fear. He relied on the kindness of immigration advocates, who had an interest in his future.
The article went public in June, and since that time, the young man has waited in fearful anticipation. He’s heard from classmates and supporters, but not from immigration officials. He admitted that, before deciding to publish the article, he had to prepare himself for any and all circumstances.
The young man added that he ultimately made the decision to publish the piece because of other children who may be faced with the same difficulties he faced. For undocumented residents in California, a legal advocate may be able to provide assistance in navigating the process of immigration. Whether faced with deportation or making efforts to obtain citizenship, immigrants may benefit from the advice of counsel.
Source: NPR, “Coming Out As An ‘Undocumented’ Immigrant,” July 7, 2011