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