Opinion: How the election changed my life


Rangeview Student

Feature Photo By: Rangeview Student- My mother drives my brother to school. She does not have a driver’s license, along with many other immigrant drivers. Being pulled over is another fear to add onto the daily routine.

Editor’s Note: The Review has confirmed the story and circumstances of this Rangeview student. Names of subjects in the story will remain confidential due to obvious and real fears of the student and his/her family regarding deportation and other legal issues.

News articles, tweets, news broadcasts, radio shows — everything — confirms the election of Donald Trump as the President of the United States. Tears of frustration roll down my eyes as my mother tells me that everything is going to be okay.

I was born and raised in Aurora, Colorado, along with my two brothers, one who is in middle school and the other in elementary. My parents came from the same town in Mexico, near the Pacific Ocean, not together, but they both arrived twenty years ago. My mom had no plans of staying here and getting married; she just wanted to work and travel.

Destiny is a funny thing.

After my parents met, they had me and decided to stay. At the time, my mom still had her valid visa and would travel back to her hometown every once in a while, until her visa expired. My dad got a job in construction thanks to my uncle, and that’s how his success began.

In the year 2000, my dad established his own construction company. He was successful, and because he proved to be such a skilled worker and hard worker, he eventually got hired by a larger company and just recently got promoted.

He is not here legally, yet ever since he began to work 20 years ago, he has paid taxes. Most of his work is outside of Aurora, and he comes

A map of all the current sanctuary cities. A sanctuary city is a city where city leaders have vowed to not enforce Trump’s new immigration policies. (Center for Immigration Studies)

and goes every single day; usually, he drives a little over an hour each way, depending on traffic. With President Trump’s election, Aurora is labeled as a “sanctuary city,” where city leaders have vowed not to enforce President Trump’s new, tougher immigration policies; however, where my dad does most of his work is far from a sanctuary city and neither are all of the cities and towns he drives through every day to and from work.

Imagine the anguish I go through every day, that my mother goes through every day, hoping my dad gets home safe and that my mom won’t get pulled over. With the recent election of President Trump, I just don’t know what the future of my younger siblings, of my parents, and of myself will be.

Being completely honest, I never really thought of myself as a “minority.” I knew my race, my ethnicity, and my culture. It wasn’t until the past three years of my life that I realize that who I am means something more than just my culture and my identity.

Constantly, I am reminded that I am a minority, a daughter of immigrants that came in search of prosperity, success, and, as everyone else, to conquer the American Dream. To the current president of the United States, my family consists of “rapist and criminals.” Soon, there is to be a wall built between my parents’ motherland, between the land that carries my blood, and between me and my sick grandmother, who I fear I may never see again.

How did I get here? How did millions of us “illegals” get here?

The application process to become a U.S. citizen can range from six to 10 years, especially if one has never held a green card or is not a U.S. resident.

My mom can become a citizen but also be punished for living here after her visa expired. My dad would have to wait another 10 years, as he starts from scratch and would also probably be punished for living here illegally.

My grandpa is a U.S. citizen and, you might ask, why hasn’t he fixed my dad’s papers? He tried once, but he issued my dad’s social security number wrong which screwed up the whole process for my dad.

Twenty years living here, right, so why hasn’t he tried again? Fear. Fear of a red flag being raised as he walks into the office to try again. Fear of being punished instead of being helped and fear of being separated from us.

So now, we live in fear. Even I do. Day after day, I pray that my mom gets home safe after dropping me off. Day after day I pray that my dad won’t get pulled over on his way home.

My parents have discussed the topic of moving. Either closer to my dad’s job so he doesn’t have to drive so far or just to Mexico.

At first, I was really rebellious to this.

“What about my programs?

My internship?

All of my Advanced Placement classes?

My college dreams?

My scholarships and my friends and my credits and my many extracurricular activities — what would I do without the help and support I get now?”

But I now realize that, if moving to Mexico will keep my parents at ease and will give my siblings the opportunity of seeing my parents happy, then I am more than willing to move.

Day by day, things gradually get worse. ICE raids are something that have occurred throughout the years but, within just this past week in at least seven states including California and New York, around 700 undocumented immigrants were rounded up by ICE and taken to a detention center. Supposedly, the purpose of these raids is to eliminate criminals, but in many cases, they have split up innocent families.

My family grows more worrisome that Colorado may be the next ICE target.

“I feel that all of my security has been taken away,” stated my mother. “I see a police in the streets and I grow nervous, something that I’ve never done before. I feel stripped of my safety and of my dignity.”

My mother isn’t the only one that feels this way. In fact, a report done by KDVR-Denver also interviewed some families about their fear of Colorado being the next target. (to read more about this report, visit http://kdvr.com/2017/02/13/hispanic-community-fears-colorado-may-be-next-for-ice-raid/)

There are lawyers out there that will answer any questions people might have but, regardless of this resource, we must hope for the best but prepare for the worse. 

Not only do we worry now about my parents being pulled over, but it has come as far as to fear dropping me off at school or going grocery shopping — everyday things that we used to take for granted.

 My parents are not criminals.

They’ve both lived in the United States for nearly 20 years. My dad has paid taxes ever since he worked here. We pay rent every month. My mom has never even been pulled over.

 So we continue to ask, why target us for all of your fears?

We are human beings trying to get through life, trying to provide safety for our family, for our future, in my land that carries my blood, my future, my education, my home — for now.

For more information about help and lawyer information, here are a few helpful links and numbers.