Immigration Activists, DACA, and Fear
With the many disasters we are facing; Hurricane Harvey, the fires in Los Angeles, Hurricane Irma, and Trump’s move to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) it is now, more than ever, that we are witnessing the voices of this generation. I am an immigrant. I was born in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. I became a U.S. citizen in 2001. I can’t begin to imagine what many, under what was suppose to be the “protection” of DACA, feel right now. Although, I became a citizen at ten years old, this country feels more like a home than my country of birth. Those that may be impacted by the ending of DACA have been here long before me.
As I scroll through social media, my heart breaks at the terror I see in the eyes of many Dreamers. At the start of my Astronomy class, my professor read a letter from the president of our campus to reassure undocumented students that their identities will be protected, as well as their aid. “With Trump’s announcement, yesterday”, she added, “no one will be arrested or questioned about their legal status,” I looked around me, then dropped my gaze at the realization of the empty seats around me. The class was about ten students short today.
Have you ever asked yourself how change comes about?
When you look back at the history of this country, and (hopefully) analyze the advances for equality this country has made, have you ever asked yourself, how did it occur? By mere chance? No. A natural evolution of societal change? Hell no. It was by tenacious individuals who gathered to fight for justice, for basic human rights. I believe real change occurs when many assemble with a similar goal in mind, and persistently act to enact change. This is supposed to be a DEMOCRACY.
Let me define democracy: a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives, and the practice or principle of social equality. Thanks Oxford Dictionary. Our nation feels more like an oligarchy playing dress up.
Every day I listen to various news stations and political podcasts, I read articles and peer-reviewed journals, scroll through Twitter, news feeds, blah blah blah. Although I’m a skeptic, I truly seek to listen to different points of view and educate myself. However, I noticed that all news sources have one thing in common, many of the voices broadcasted fail to describe how many of us “millennials” truly view our generation, and misinterpret our level of awareness. In part, due to the fact that many of the individuals on the panels aren’t “millennials” (p.s. I hate that word, yes hate). Thus, viewing issues we inherited from their distinct experiences and upbringings, and, many times with indifference and/or haughty eyes. We are often labelled “entitled millennials” who want to make an “impact” but don’t know what hard work is. But, what many fail to see is that this generation wants to create change and make an impact due to the nonsense and cruelty in which this nation was built upon. This generation hasn’t experienced the same severe level of oppression ethnic groups and females dealt with in the past but that doesn’t go to say that we are not facing a different yet equal level of racism, sexism, and inequality. The difference is that it’s not so in your face. Yes, many growing up in this era don’t face the identical level of racism like before and yes women are slowly climbing up the economic ladder while closing the wage gap. But, we are facing new problems other generations never experienced; such as the insane amount of debt we are being plummeted with, especially minorities. This is new age slavery. We are being raped by financial institutions, private loan companies, healthcare and the education system! Oh, but they won’t know because they are “millennials” too busy ruining their spines as they stare into the abyss of their screens.
This country’s history and the current illogical governing tactics used by our President are the fuel for many of us with untainted minds willing to fight to make this society a we want to live in. We know our power, and although our education system is a joke, thanks to the many resources we have online, our minds are expanding and there is no bigger threat to the government than educated individuals. Many of us, however begrudgingly, are very aware of the world we live in.
Last night, after a long day of classes, I flipped on my TV, after a brief moment of hesitation. On, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, I watched an inspiring young activist. His name is Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, a climate activist, hip-hop artist, and author whose new book is titled, We Rise: The Earth Guardians Guide to Building a Movement That Restores the Planet. His words struck a chord in me when he said:
“I believe we have this opportunity now, to face this crisis and to change the way we are acting. And we are doing something about it. I’m in a lawsuit against the federal government, suing the Trump administration for violating our constitutional rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness, for failing to act on climate change. We are changing the way that we are taking action. We are getting artistic, we are moving into the streets in a way we have never seen. So, now, this generation, is reshaping the way that we address an issue as big as climate change. We’re not going to allow this era to be defined by Donald Trump.” [@XiuhtezcatlM]
No matter your age is, background or beliefs, if you believe in creating change, do something, don’t just share this page or tweet about it. Real change requires persistence, sacrifice, education and action! This is how we will be truly empowered and fully equipped to face our current political climate.
I didn’t cross these borders, these borders crossed me…
I took this photograph in Playas Tijuana, Baja California, MX.
Leave your thoughts below or tweet me @zuleykasilver