Gustavo Ospina

Gustavo Ospina

Elizabeth, NJ

An American is someone with deep roots in the United States. Whether the roots were planted before their birth or afterwards does not change where they are placed. Having come to the United States at the age of 5 I did not have any choice over where my roots were planted. I thought they would always lay in Colombia until my parents brought my family to New Jersey in search of a better life and then managed to grow a tree. Growing up I had no idea that in many eyes I was not an American. I knew I was undocumented, but not that I wasn’t an American. After graduating high school and working at a warehouse because of a lack of better opportunities, I realized the immigration system is flawed and must be changed. The fact that I do not carry a US passport does not erase my countless summer trips to the jersey shore, or my Christmas trips to Rockefeller Center, or just about every day of my life since 1999. I define American.

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