I am a proud daughter of immigrants, born in the US but raised in Mexico since I was just a few weeks old. My parents moved to the US in 1999 when I was about 7 years old to give me and my brother that so-called “American Dream.” I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember feeling sad as I had to say good-bye to the place I sometimes still call home. I remember feeling angry at my parents for taking me away from my family, from my friends and from everything I’d ever loved and known.
My parents have never been the type of people who hide their status. They were not ones to live in fear, I was raised knowing what it was to be undocumented and that it was never something to be ashamed of. The one thing my parents never taught me and what they did a great job of hiding was what it actually meant to be undocumented until December 15, 2011. My family received a call from Mexico at early hours in the morning, my grandpa died of a heart attack in his sleep. As soon as I found out, I packed my bags and met my family in the living room, but as soon as I walked in I saw that no one else was ready to leave and that’s when it hit me. In 2011, the cartels had already taken over the Mexican side of the Rio Grande River, and if my dad decided to go to his father’s funeral it meant that there was a possibility he might not make it back alive to his family.