Lori R

Lori R

Orem, UT

It’s hard to be yourself when you really can’t reveal one of the biggest parts about yourself: your legal status. I have friends of many races, genders, and religions, but the majority of my friends are white and republican. When you’re talking about school or sports or boys- we can all agree on those topics, or can harmlessly argue without fear of being judged. We share many differences- one of them that I am not a mormon, despite the fact that mostly all my friends are mormon and I’m a catholic. When I first confess that, I know they look at me differently, because they can’t share the same things they can with friends of their same religion, but we remain good friends. And I often question myself- whether I would ever have the guts to actually tell my closest friend who I really am. Would she look at me differently? Would she empathize with me or call border patrol? There’s so many things I can never tell them, so many things I have to constantly lie about. I lies that I have a full tuition to Utah Valley University- all students that graduated with their Associate’s degree in high school automatically get it… that is, unless you are an illegal. I lie about how it’s really money that’s stopping me from going to France, despite the fact that I won an award in my school for being the best foreign language speaker- particularly in French. I can lie about other things, and looking closer, I am two people here in the US. At home, I am an illegal immigrant, who can’t find a job as easily, who wants to make her parents uneducated parents proud because they left their hometown for me, who wishes I could just have a green card to be considered a part of this country. And then I’m the all-star- the girl who can’t be stopped- that’s what I want everybody else to see me as because I know that telling my friends, my peers, my teachers that I am an undocumented immigrant will change their view on who I am. I am an American with the lingering shadow of an illegal immigrant.

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