Confused and scared, I pedaled home and confronted Lolo. I remember him sitting into the garage, cutting coupons. I dropped my bike and ran over to him, showing him the card that is green. “Peke ba ito?” I asked in Tagalog. (“Is this fake?”) My grandparents were naturalized American citizens — he worked as a security guard, she as a food server — in addition they had begun supporting my mother and me financially when I was 3, after my father’s wandering eye and inability to properly allow for us resulted in my parents’ separation. Lolo was a proud man, and I also saw the shame on his face as he told me he purchased the card, as well as other fake documents, for me personally. “Don’t show it to many other people,” he warned.
I made a decision then that i really could never give anyone reason to doubt I became an American. I convinced myself that when I achieved enough, I would be rewarded with citizenship if I worked enough. I felt i really could earn it.
I’ve tried. Over the past 14 years, I’ve graduated from twelfth grade and college and built a profession as a journalist, interviewing some of the most famous people in the united states. At first glance, I’ve created a good life. I’ve lived the American dream.
But i will be still an undocumented immigrant. And therefore means living a kind that is different of. It indicates going about my day in anxiety about being found out. It means rarely trusting people, even those closest if you ask me, with who I really am. (suite…)