As a child nobody really pays attention to their surroundings, everybody seems to be far away from reality. I know I was, but as one starts to age you start to notice that not everything is okay as it should be. It seems as if the universe is pushing you towards reality and leaves you there to analyze and understand what is real and what is not. This is exactly how I felt on March 28, 2013. SB 1070 was passed, allowing police to arrest immigrants without a warrant. SB 1070 was inspired by the Indian law SB 590 from 2011 which, “permitted local law enforcement officers to make warrantless arrests of people in possession of certain immigration-related documents, even though the possession of those documents is not a crime,” according the ACLU. When the law says “…certain immigration-related documents,” they’re talking about Visa, The resident alien (or green card), EAD, Form I-94, Form DS-2019, Form I-797, and Form I-20. These laws are always told through the eyes of people with power and authority, but never through the eyes of those who have and still are being affected.
My first language was English, my mother says. I was not allowed to speak Spanish at school and my family lived in fear. I would meet a family member one day and by next month they were back in Mexico because they could not find a job. My parents did the impossible to provide for me and my other four siblings. I must admit that I was happy at one point, but like everything else nothing last forever. I started to see patterns in my life. We were always moving from one place to another. I never had a school where I could have friends because I knew sooner or later I would move away and never see those kids again. I also saw that my parents were always worried about policemen. I always thought they were the good guys, but in my parents eyes they were not. My mother would always pray for my dad before he left for work and was also checking the news.
In a matter of weeks my parents sold the majority of our belongings and we were kicked out of our apartment. My mindset changed immediately and anger grew in me. There I was, a thirteen year old, thinking our lives were perfect when in reality it was not. My parents had two choices, to move to California with a friend of my dad’s or move to Kansas with my aunt. Of course, my parents chose family over friends. We loaded our cars and started to say our goodbye’s- the hardest part was saying bye to my family. We drove for almost two days and arrived to Kansas around two in the morning. I did not think it would be this different to move from state. I had to get use to the weather because I could not breath, it felt like the air had water or it was too thick. I felt like I was drowning and nobody really had time to help because they were to busy trying to keep the majority alive. The days passed and I got use to the fact that this place is the rainforest and Antarctica in the winter. I hated my parents for making us move and from separating me from my friends and family, but I also hated Arizona for hating me.
August was near and my mom had to find a good school for all five of her children. We tried to get in this really nice school where you have to take a test in Spanish to be able to get in. Only one out of five made it because we were not really familiar with the language in an educated way. The only time we ever spoke Spanish was at home with my dad only because my mom understood English. My aunt
heard about Alta Vista, a new school just opening. In Arizona there was never a school where you had to wear a certain color or certain shirt. Alta Vista had very similar characteristic as a prison, if you ask me. The first year was the worst my brother and I were stranger in that building, for a while everybody thought we were going out with each other. Until eighth grade year, everything changed. The bill that my family and I ran away from Arizona reached Kansas City, but things were different, the community took it in differently. The community fought back in a positive way: with protest and letters. I realize that I do not face or had the same challenges as others around me did, but I am going through the same process as most of them. I am still treated differently even though I was born in the United States. My family literally lives from paycheck to paycheck. My older brother left school to help my parents out with bills and maintaining food in the fridge. My dad has been working non stop since he was eleven, he is getting tired. We are his future, he did everything he could to bring us to where we are now and now it’s our turn to help him out. I hate watching my dad work day and night everyday to get paid a misery just because he is an immigrant. My family and my challenge are not over yet, Donald Trump is running for President and if he gets elected our lives will not only get harder, but impossible. I can not say how I overcame this challenge because I am still living it.