If you want to understand the struggles, fears and boundless strength of undocumented immigrants in America, watch the spoken word video above.
It was written by Yosimar Reyes, a Los Angeles-based poet and undocumented immigrant originally from Guerreo, Mexico.
“I love my undocumented people,” his poem begins, over a vignette of intimate moments of immigrant lives.
“I love us because everyday we wake up to a country that hates us. We wake up, give thanks to God and go to work. Watch the news, hear how our own TVs vilify us. We change the channel and pray that tomorrow will be a better day for us.”
Define American, a nonprofit media organization that focuses on immigrant narratives, published the video to promote #UndocuJoy, an initiative to share empowering stories from undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.
The organization was founded by Jose Antonio Vargas, a Filipino journalist, immigration activist and former Washington Post reporter who revealed in a 2011 New York Times Magazine essay that he was an undocumented immigrant and had been keeping it secret since he was 12 years old.
Vargas has ramped up his advocacy this week as reports suggest that President Donald Trump might soon dismantle the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, also known as the “Dreamers,” program, which offers protections to immigrants who entered the country illegally as children.
To raise awareness of the contributions these immigrants have made in the U.S., Define American is calling for undocumented immigrants to share their stories by submitting it to their website. Reyes’ poem honoring these communities is a preview of the all powerful stories that need to be told.
Read the original version of his poem below.