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Coming out: I have decided to tell everyone that I am an undocumented immigrant

June 20, 2011

Hi, my name is Carlos and I have decided to tell everyone that I am an undocumented immigrant.

Art by Favianna

This past week I attended Netroots Nation 2011, the biggest progressive conference in the U.S., and an amazing networking meeting which as in previous years, has made me feel empowered and motivated to create an impact in my community. There I had the chance to interact with activists, bloggers, leaders and thinkers.

During the NN11‘s LGBT Netroots Connect conference I was inspired by Dreamers Tania Unzueta, Reyna Wences, Juan Rodriguez and Felipe Matos. With Tania’s support I decided to come out and tell everyone that I am one of the over 12 million undocumented immigrants living in this country. I’m an ‘illegal alien’ as the corporate media would call me.

This is a video of the moment when I was given the chance to speak out:

Why telling: I had thought about blogging about my immigration experience for a long time, but fear and timing didn’t allow. One of the things that finally inspired me to do it was the campaign organized by undocumented youth for the Dream Act bill, which sadly was rejected by the U.S. Senate last year.

Why now: I’m doing this not only because I want to become a productive citizen for this country, but also because this will have a positive impact for many others who are undocumented like myself, and because Immigration Reform should not be put aside even and especially in elections times.

At the Latino Caucus meeting of Netroots Nation 2011. Photo by Rebecca Logan

While the Dreamers are continuing their fight on, I’m now joining this movement of civil resistance, because I cannot live in fear and depression any longer; because I deserve a life of dignity and respect, because I want to face whatever is necessary in order to achieve justice, because I’m unafraid. We can do this.

This week also I had the chance to talk to Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) who expressed his support to my blog, and he estimated that an Immigration Reform in the U.S. will be possible in 2-3 years. I spoke to other members of Congress and progressive activists and leaders who also have given me their support.

From now on, I will tell my story and if you are undocumented I hope this will encourage you do the same. We can only hope we will be given a chance, but we have to show others that we are not begging for it but we are proving that we truly deserve it.

In the next days, I will continue posting stories, videos and information related.

Also, I want to add that in the upcoming 2012 Presidential Elections -as controversial as it is- the current administration could become again the biggest ally for immigrants, even if its policies for mass incarcerations and deportations of immigrants say the opposite. That is a topic for another post.

All of this can be risky, but I know is well worth it.

I was interviewed

Here is an interview that I did with Free Press TV at Netroots Nation. After I heard that FPTV were conducting live interviews, I decided to ask them if they wanted to cover my story. Click on the image to watch:


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4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 22, 2011 12:56 pm

    That was a brave admission and commentary Carlos. I do hope u expound more on the negative impact of Nafta/Cafta from the perspective of those directly affected; specifically, causes and effects. I wish u well. I support human treatment and amnesty for those that have lived here most of their lives and/or have not committed crimes in the USA. I wonder, though, why u didn’t simply renew your visa when u had the chance and pursue citrizenship? U may send me a private message. Thx.

  2. June 22, 2011 12:52 pm

    I’ve been a subscriber for several months, and I’ve always found your interviews to be exceptional. But I fear that with your latest video, you may be endangering yourself.

    I hope you’ve fully thought through the consequences, and aren’t acting on a whim, inspired to radical action by a weekend with the NetRoots. I’m not knowledgeable about the immigration system, so maybe I’m being overly-concerned, but I feel you’re unnecessarily risking your freedom and personal safety by exposing your status. I understand there’s a crisis, and a lot of people are abused by unscrupulous employers, etc, but I think you could do a lot more to bring these issues to public awareness without putting yourself in jeopardy.

    In any case, I wish you goodspeed and the best of luck.

Trackbacks

  1. Pulitzer Prize winning writer admits he’s undocumented immigrant | reportergary.com
  2. Welcome to the movement Jose Antonio Vargas undocumented American « Carlos in DC

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