Undocumented immigrant youth have been at the forefront of the Undocumented, Unafraid and Unapologetic Movement. At the inception of this movement, however, were undocumented parents, fighting the hard fight, regardless if anyone was listening. Carmela is a person whose life has passed invisibly to many, but Carmela has contributed to the advancement of the United States of America in many ways. Like many other parents, Carmela is a DREAMer of a more common variety, but her DREAM is no less worthy.
Carmela's dream was simple: to give her children the opportunities she never had. This dream, however, was threatened by Mexico's economic crisis in the 1980's, which destroyed economic equilibrium. Rising inflation, the devalued peso and among many other things, were besetting to Mexico and its citizens. Needless to say, the economic crises and rampant inequality had run its course on Carmela and her dreams.
After vigorous searching, and embracing every opportunity, Carmela and her husband, both in their mid thirties had two options; stay in Mexico and wait for the economy to improve, or immigrate to the United States to search for a better life. With nothing but faith, Carmela and her husband chose the latter.
In the 1990's, both on foot and train, Carmela immigrated to the United States of America. Shortly after Carmela's arrival, her husband mysteriously disappeared, leaving her to raise six children all on her own. Yet, despite Carmela's unfortunate circumstances, she refused to deviate from her dream of creating an environment conducive to improving her children's lives.
Carmela is my mother.
My mother always said, "tienes que ir a la escuela para que no seas como tu mama," (you need to go to school so that you don't end up like your mother). I understand what she was trying to teach me, but the truth is -- I want to be just like my mother. You see, my mother is a person who does not let any external forces tell her where and what she could dream; my mother is a person who pursues her dreams with assertiveness that begs to be reckoned with; my mother is a person who lives her life sin verguenza, because verguenza is expensive and unsustainable; my mother is a person who is devoted to teaching her children morals and values; finally, my mother is a person with faith in humanity and benevolence unknown to many.
Many undocumented immigrant youth want to become engineers, doctors and lawyers. My mother will become none of those. But she has raised children that will. It is now my turn to give my mother a better life, which begun by discovering a pathway to adjust my mother's immigration status. The extensive research it took to make this discovery will not end with my mother, but extend to other mothers and fathers-or anyone in need of legal representation for that matter.
My mother inspired a love of family in me, a love that encompasses many aspects of my life. My mother also taught me that love for anything comes with responsibility -- to help protect it. My mother -- my hero and companion -- is a DREAMER of a more common variety, but her dream is no less worthy.