Obama offered me protection from deportation and the chance to get a job — But what about my education?
I am told I crossed the border to the United States when I was 2 years old, sitting in the back of a car. But my earliest memories are of South Los Angeles — of my parents staying up until midnight and then waking up every weekday and on Saturdays at 3:00 a.m. to check on the tamales and boil water mixed with maizena, blocks of chocolate and cinnamon, for champurrado, a traditional Mexican corn-based drink. My dad would load his yellow vendor tricycle with a huge olla , or pot, of tamales, utensils, and the freshly made champurrado. My mom would fill a grocery cart with the prepared foods, which she would push as she walked my sister and me to elementary school.
That changed the fall of my senior year in high school. My parents told me they were moving because they feared for their lives. They had reported to the police that a gang member was extorting money from them. When the gang member found out, he threatened to kill them. My parents wanted me to move with them, but I chose to stay to finish high school because I believed there were more opportunities for me in California as an undocumented student. The day before I sat for the SAT, I said goodbye to my younger siblings and my parents. My father started to cry when I hugged him; I think that was the first time I saw him cry — and it made me cry. I then entered my house alone and lay on my bed until I fell asleep. [Read more…]