On 45th's Racist, Classist Agenda to Start the Hunger Games
The rescinding of DACA has been triggering. I try not to meditate upon the struggle and stress of immigration, and what being a Black child immigrant means. I try not to speak on it, because the fatigue of the immigration process still wears heavily on my identity, and is numbing at the same time. But, it's difficult to ignore. It's difficult to forget. It's conflicting to remember. Because I grew up with everyone else in America:
Georgia. Atlanta. Lithonia. Normal.
But, my status was different:
African. Nigerian. Immigrant. Illegal. Undocumented. Other.
I was brought to this country illegally when I was one.
I was an undocumented child until I was four.
I completed my entire grade school education with a renewable...expirable...Work Authorization card and number.
From K-12, I had to do fingerprinting, take immigration pictures, sit in immigration law offices, be interviewed, go to court and talk to ICE/USCIS agents every two years.
I grew up in a mixed-status household. I was one of the "mixed".
I got my first job with my Work Authorization number.
I graduated high school with my Work Authorization number.
I applied to college with my Work Authorization number.
I graduated with two degrees with my Green Card.
I worked four jobs with my Green Card.
I applied to my current place of employment with my Green Card.
I had no earthly memory of being in Nigeria up until this past July.
I have (practically) lived my entire life has been in this one country.
I have achieved and created so many things in my life...in this country...without being a "proper American citizen".
I am a (naturalized) American citizen now, BUT by all intents and purposes, #IAMDACA.
My immigrant mother handled everything. She is the courageous warrior in my story. She did it all. I am just the humble recipient...the benefactor...the DREAMer. I just came along and sat and did as I was prepped and told. Because I was a CHILD. Because that's what children do when they don't fully know what's going on...especially in their own lives—understandably so.
That's why I have to ask the White House, why punish (grown) children like me for a life and land we did not choose? Why take away hopes and dreams and opportunities that we can already barely attain? Why crush the future of those who have potential and promise just because the reality of White Supremacy is sifting away?
Sisters and Brothers, Black, Brown, and Other, I am with y'all. My journey was hard, but yours is harder. So, I stand with YOU. WE are #HereToStay.