Its the way I have always envisioned it. A stern knock, in quick succession that shatters everything. It's a scene that replays in my mind, over and over. How strange that paranoia should have become such a consistent part of my nature. Then again, how could it not? It is a curious thing to be a wanted man, a fugitive for such a crime. The mere idea that I could be arrested, held, deported at any moment, infringed on my mind. Even though, the Obama Administration implemented 'discretion' policies regarding deportation of criminals in 2011, I had continued to see pieces across the internet of the young people, mothers and fathers who are sucked up in the process.
And then on Friday, I woke up to news that the administration was providing protection to nearly a million DREAMers, in the form of discretion and work permits. The suddenness, the disbelief cannot be emphasized. Where was this coming from? How was I to evaluate this information? It is a daunting task to convince yourself after a decade of embarrassment, and lamentation. I searched and scanned the same information from dozens of sites looking to learn more, find more. According to the memo from Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of Homeland Security, I was one of the lucky few that was covered by this policy. A policy, though temporary provided relief. I came before sixteen, I am not older than thirty, I have been in the United States for more than a decade, I have obtained my high school and Undergraduate diplomas, and I have not been convicted of any crimes, felonious or otherwise. This was me! The memo was speaking to me. I was understandably elated.
Yet, it was tainted by the knowledge that in bestowing these to me, it dashed the hopes of countless others. I know the feeling of standing in the margins and watching others obtain an opportunity, while you are being denied. To this end, I am conflicted for my relatives, my friends and the millions who are not covered by this policy. And all the while, I kept thinking about the countless others lost in the process. Perhaps it is premature to have such thoughts in response to such a temporary fix. Still, the hope that it provides, forces me to think of those in heavy soles, who have to remain out of the light, quiet, disenfranchised, frustrated, pressured and ever uncertain. For them, this may well be renewed disappointment. It is a feeling that cannot be empathized. I know!
Perhaps I am a tad pessimistic. Maybe I ought to see the water in my glass, rather than lament. I know that in this notedly polarized political climate, it was probably no easy task for President Obama to do what I believe was the right thing for the hundreds of thousands of DREAMers. This was made explicit as the president was continuously heckled during his speech. This was the risk he took, on my behalf. It is a step in the right direction. I only wished he had included other deserving DREAMers as well. Keep DREAMing!
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