Young Undocumented Immigrants Not Afraid
Several years ago, the phenomenon began tentatively with rallies and a few t-shirts. Today the movement has grown and is full-fledged, with thousands of adolescents and young adults that are unsettling authorities and terrifying their parents.
From New York to California, children of undocumented families are starting to “come out.” The young people are marching in protest carrying banners that state “undocumented but unafraid,” getting arrested near immigration courts, staging sit-ins in different federal buildings and even protesting in Maricopa County, home of Sheriff Joe Arpaio a sworn enemy to all undocumented immigrants.
By outing themselves and their families the young protesters know they are at risk of being deported, but as more stringent laws are passed by states against illegal immigrants and with critics calling their parents criminals, the young people say there is no choice.
The young people coming out, say the act has taken a huge weight from their shoulders and that they no longer were lying about whom they were. For so many years, they have been told by their parents to not trust anyone, not mention to anyone where they were from or what their legal status was. Most do not understand how different they really are from others until they apply to attend college or look for work.
Without social security numbers, they cannot work and many are not eligible for financial aid because they are undocumented regardless of their excellent grades. Recently groups of young adults who are all undocumented, have started to increase their protests and test the new policy of the White House of “prosecutorial discretion” that is designed to focus on deporting criminals, not immigrants who do not have criminal record or students.