Friday was a bittersweet of indigo painted on the sunset skies as I opted to take a big breath with fumes of hookah in the back yard of Loreto’s house in Denver. It took me several ours of false congratulations, questions, remarks, and celebrations. A couple of rancid insults were unfortunately needed.
President Obama had issued a deferred action for undocumented youth. National news covered the various sit-ins in which some of my friends put their lives at the forefront to give a clear simple message to the current administration: an executive order is much needed to stop the deportation of DREAM-Act eligible youth. In return, based with the political pressure, another memo resurfaced to try to put an end to our ask, a very well memorized and articulated speech by the president of the United States in which he addressed it as “the right thing to do”.
But what is the right thing to do?
Restless chunks of memory took me back to the many hours of planning before the action, in which me and Josie, an undocumented transgender youth, shared our queer stories as we painted our banner. The morning beams of light hit the church’s window revealing our tired eyes looking at each other, after hours of interesting conversations. –“I was afraid of sharing my identity before, now they’re going to hear me”. Josie said nervously. After all is not that easy to come out publicly.
With the same doubt, many in the community of Denver at first were doubtful about the planning of our civil disobedience in Obama’s campaign. Some of them would say, ”Why don’t you target Romney, he is the real enemy, the president is your friend”. The reality was nonpartisan, and we don’t favor a political party or a single person.
We want accountability and the current administration is in the eyes of every single immigrant in this country. More than the DREAM Act, and after the memo, we want to bring justice to those that are in a detention center, in deportation preceding, not knowing about their families and friend, unable to celebrate all the hard work many lazy arrogant “Good Dreamers” claimed, elated to share with everyone.
The time for undocumented youth to come out of the shadows was imminent. What happened after our Campaign’s action was only us supporting our fellow brothers and sisters to create an uprising of empowerment within themselves. That was one of the things I took from Denver, youth organizing to empower each other. By all means, I was very inspired to hear them speak fearlessly with conviction and utter retaliation to all those hetero-normative and white-privileged organizations and allies that have spoken for many of them, keeping them in the shadows, having them sit back in the crowds, hidden. How often do we hear many undocumented-profitable non-profits in this movement taking credit for what many valiant youth had done in the past?
The news was to some the return of Jesus Christ, an amnesty, some even had the audacity to call it “Executive Order”, even community members thought the DREAM Act had passed. Many organizations that do little to nothing to empower undocumented youth even took credit for all the work.
After of hours of reading endless messages, and perhaps analyzing the memo beyond its true meaning behind it, it was then when my sarcastic laughter couldn’t be contained any longer. This is a political tactic. This is not what we asked for. This is not what I’m fighting for.
The memo, for one, clearly states that anyone that had migrated to the country before the age of 16 will be eligible. I wondered how many undocumented youth, such as myself, won’t be able to qualify.
I imagine once again, enflamed faces in rage being left out for what they fought for so many years. Not quite the right thing to do once again, by bordering the age of our dreams. I also remembered day 1 in this country. My queer 16 in the Promised Land was once of the best gifts I have ever valued in life.
I strongly believe I am once again at the borders of the age. Cabalistic numbers that try to narrow down my youth, that continues to prove a blessing and an obstacle. I’m used to “jumping borders” because I don’t believe in them.
These mere rocks in my path towards Kansas City, my nearest destination, will only recharge my energies along the way, allowing my feet, mind and soul in the right direction for the right thing to do: to continue to challenge the system and agitate the incompetence of memorandums and racist sentiments, by securing our own immigrant communities. Most importantly to awake the voices of our people and fight back for what is right.
The shining glare of a pure marine moon announced the commence of a new journey in this walk, as the blowing air, furious and turbulent crushed this last ordeal as new way of thinking in my head: -“Things happen for a reason and the fight has just begun. I’m not going anywhere”.