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In a whirlwind of political unrest and the separation of families, the chance for a better nation lies in the hands of those who seek it.
For 10 years the United States has not found a justifiable way of fixing broken immigration laws. For 10 years families have continuously been separated. For 10 years I have seen people pushed aside as second-class citizens and exploited for cheap labor, all because they lack the paperwork necessary for them to be considered Americans.
While Congress decides on the future of the country’s estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants, the organizations that advocate for a just immigration reform have been hard at work.
As an organizer for the North Texas Dream Team, an organization composed of undocumented youth and allies, I believe we must fight for immigration reform now.
According to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an estimated 400,000 people have been deported since the Obama administration began.
Unfortunately, many of them were hard-working parents. The repeated separation of families has caused emotional pain for the children left behind, who are often dropped into the foster care system.
This issue has been examined from many points of view, but it has never been seen as a human issue. What many fail to see are the stories of these 11 million people — their struggles and dreams.
As an activist for an issue that affects many Americans including myself, I take this issue very seriously. Activism is much more than yelling at “the man” and protesting outside a congressman’s office. It’s staying up until 2 a.m., making sure a father of four is not deported for doing his job or organizing a lobby visit.
Most importantly, activism is fighting for a nation built by immigrants, for immigrants.
Being an activist is not a simple task. It takes time and passion, a drive to continue pushing government officials to take the needs of the people into consideration.
While politicians mettle with the future of the estimated 11 million, hope for immigration reform lies in the very ashes of the dreams many had years ago.
The stakes for comprehensive immigration reform have never been higher, and the time to pass it is now.