Elizabeth Carballo

Elizabeth Carballo

Washington, DC

I’m Ellie. Both of my parents came to the United States illegally, and a couple of years ago, my parents both risked deportation. It was a terrible time because it happened while I was studying abroad. I remember getting to the airport, back home in DC, and not knowing whether my parents would be there to take me home.

It is absurd that in 2012 our country can shut people out when all they want is a chance at a decent life; a job, a family, a home. And what is even more unbelievable is that there are people who feel an intense hatred for people who “look” like immigrants, who speak a different language, the very same people whom have worked and helped to make this country a better place. It is terrible not knowing whether you will see your family tomorrow, if from one day to the next you or a loved one will be hundreds of miles across the border.

Luckily, my parents received their residency, and will soon be applying for citizenship. Unfortunately, some aren’t so lucky, some of the best people I have ever met- intelligent, kind, insightful, innovative- have been unable to live their dream, have been denied their right to a higher education and their right to a good life and it is time for change. I can go on about this forever, but I define American as a common dream that we share in which we have equal rights and can look forward to having a steady job, a family, and a place to call home.

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