Brenda Brambila

Black Panther is Undocumented

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Brenda Brambila

Chicago, IL

My whole life has been a lie. My legal status has been a lie. I have been fake to my friends in fear that one day they would betray me and call border patrol on me. I do not know who I am because I am not from here or there. United State citizens do not accept me for my accent, my heritage, and my skin color. I have to dig deep and find who I am because I do not know. This is my shot to recognize and acknowledge what I am. I grew in Mexico until I was seven years old. I went to school, had good grades, read and spoke Spanish. I have not been in Mexico for over eleven years. I have forgotten how my grandparents, cousins, and other relatives look like. Thanks to social media, I have had the opportunity to see them at least through pictures and Skype sessions, and what I really what to do is hug them, but I can’t. I can’t because my life is in the hands of others. The first chapters of my life where written by my parents, but it is up to me to finish those last few chapters, and I do not want to end my life without seeing my family members in person, especially my grandparents. After I hear crossing the border stories, I consider myself very lucky to have obtained a tourist visa. I hear stories of how my people had to endure thirst, food, heat and violence to get to this country, and I think to myself, “that could have been me”. I could have died of thirst, hunger, heat stroke, or violent acts, but I didn’t. In memory of every person that has died in the border, I want my stay in United States to be the most well spent. I want everything that I do here my grades, my career, my own presence as an undocumented student to show that their deaths were not in vain. Their bodies might have died and decomposed, but their hope still lies on my shoulders. I sometimes ask myself, “Why me? Why was I lucky enough to cross (or fly) over the border, what does God think is my purpose here?”. They (the government) can do anything they want with me, but one thing for sure is that I will fight to make the future of my children and their children to be better than what I am living today.

I have to work my way up to deserve citizenship, and all I can say is “Challenge Accepted”. I consider this land my country because I have friends, teachers, basically a life here. A life I was not destined to have in Mexico. Although I love Mexico and desire greatly to go back, I would be leaving the country that saw me grow up.

The country that shaped who I am today, and it is hard to see the rejection every single day. I am tired of living in fear. The world is not over if I am deported, but humanity will be. I have gotten so much help to be in college, and I am thankful that there are people out there that want to help. Nothing is going to step in my way to get what I want. Not a piece of paper.

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