Mesa, Arizona – We all share the DREAM. We all come from different backgrounds but that
keeps us connected.
As I stated before, I came to this country at a very young age. I also said that in 2006 I
suffered an accident that left me handicapped. It hits you pretty hard, no pun intended,
when reality does that to you.
I never would have thought this would happen to me. I mean, as long as I can remember I
have never even broken a bone! But it is what it is, sometimes you just have to toughen up
and keep moving forward. It's tough when you are both undocumented and disabled.
As an undocumented American your chance at getting a job is limited to nearly impossible
but even more when you are disabled. I always think if anyone else is going through what I
am going through so I looked online.
I started reading an article on a girl named Sherry. She lives in Chicago and works as
volunteer for Centro Avance, a Chicago-based organization. This organization was holding a
wheel chair and equipment drive Last December at a local mall. I thought that was amazing,
but I was then surprised because Sherry was in a situation like mine, probably even tougher.
Sherry was born in Santiago, Chile on September 1, 1989. She was born with a hole in her
spine. The name of her disability is spinal bifida. Her type is called meningocele. There are
several types, but hers is considered the worst.
The reason she and her parents left their native country was because they could not find the
necessary medical assistance. She came to this country at the age of three and has no other
place to call home. She received medical attention in the U.S. when she was a child, but after
the age of 18 she was neglected medical assistance. She graduated from high school and
studied at a local community college for about two years until her financial aid noticed she
was undocumented; soon after they cut her off.
She became aware of her immigration issues as well as others through her church. She, as
well as me and many others, are part of a mixed status family. She has three citizen siblings
while I too have three. I am the oldest and the only one who is undocumented. We also
share that we are not the only ones in our family with medical issues; while her father has
heart issues my mother also has heart issues. The only difference is she has another parent
while I have no one except my mother.
After she joined her church and attended meetings, rallies, etc. the Illinois Dream Act was
passed. She was overwhelmed and later graduated from college with a major in Social Work
and a minor in political science. I was amazed by her integrity and like the rest of the
undocumented youth all over the country she wants to "survive".
Be it Chicago, California, New York, or Arizona we all want to survive. So that day, after the
Arizona Dream Act has passed I will continue to work at becoming an aspect of change.
Undocumented students: We all want to survive
|By Cesar Calderon | April 12, 2012
Published by the Hispanic Institute of Social Issues in Phoenix, Arizona
|HISTORY IS ABOUT
|Photo by Eduardo Barraza | Barriozona Magazine
Founded in 2002
Publihed by the Hispanic Institute of Social Issues
|Related Video: Undocumented youth protest at presidential debate in Arizona