I am from Brazil and have been living illegally in American for 12 years.
I have loved this country since I was a young boy. From a poor family, I dreamed about living here. My family didnt understand why. They even had no idea where American really was in the map. But I did. While all my friends were playing, I was memorizing English vocabulary, reading about American culture and history, trying to listen to American radio station (very difficult back then), collecting stamps, listening to music and everything I could get hold of. I was so proud of it but couldnt share it with my friends my happiness. They didn’t care about the USA.
When I turned 18 I began working at a bank, and could afford to learn English. It took me 4 years to save US$ 800,00 and my English teacher took me to England. I lived there and improved my English. But it wasnt American. I went back to Brazil and start teaching English. I came to the US 2 times on vacation and everything that I had always dreamed was so magic and even more than I had though. Finally in 1999 I came here and my heart asked me to stay. Well, yea, it has been 12 years living here illegally.
I feel frustrated and sometimes I do not sleep. I have teach English here for the Brazilian community for the last 10 years. I also pay my taxes. They love me. I try my best to teach them not only English but how to respect the laws and get more involved in the American culture. I feel so bad. I lost my mother and grand mother and never could go to their funerals. Seeing a police officer just freaks me out. But in my mind they were the people I could feel comfortable and rely on. I wish so much I could see them and say “Good morning, sir!
I dont travel to other states which is my dream to visit all the places I have always dreamed. I dont go out alone. I avoid entering in public buildings and places where I know I can asked for a photo ID. Oh man, it is my dream to be able to open my walled and hand a an ID to nay one. Well, the place I always dreamed to be free, I feel trapped in my house and my American dreams.
It drives me crazy just the idea of being deported and face all the people always complained about me loving this country. And a funny fact is that some of them live here now and are legal.