Post Classifieds

Think Before You Speak

By Jocelyne Ayala
On January 19, 2018

Photo by: Tiffany Juarez and Valeria Rivera

“They’re taking all our jobs. Send them back,” they say, as if some of these people they typically call Mexicans don’t have families to feed and bills to pay. 

It can be easy for someone who has not struggled to come to the U.S. from a place of poverty to just assume and simply say “send them back,” as if we are not here to strive for the same American dream everyone hopes for.

Yes, some people come here illegally and that is nothing new to the idea of an immigrant, but others are here through Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which allows a person to stay temporarily in the United States. However, TPS can be revoked at any time from any immigrant for any reason that does not seem viable to immigration.

My grandfather has lived with us for years, and was granted a TPS because he needed to stay in the US for health reasons. My grandmother who is now a resident, has gone through many separations in life with him due to the health issue.

Even though he has lived in the states for 15 years, every year he has to file paperwork just to make sure he is following up on appointments and is not lying about his stay here. As a family, we have gone through instances where immigration has come banging on our door to take him away from us, just because of a simple misunderstanding in paper work.

No family should have to be broken up because someone is not accepted in what we call “the land of the free.”

Bringing up my family and the path every individual in it has had to go through is heartbreaking. We came here in search of better paying jobs, compared to our country of El Salvador where five to ten dollars is normal for a full day’s work.

A lot of my cousins who have come here to work, usually find jobs in factories where it is a lot easier for them to get hired. My cousins frequently send half of their paycheck to family members back home to fund other family health issues.

When I came to college, my color, my race and my culture was different than everyone else. Over the years, I have gotten a clearer understanding that everyone is different in their backgrounds and experiences.

OU Women’s Wrestling program recently hired a new wrestling coach from Iran. Since he is from outside the states, we thought we were going to lose a person who has so much dedication and love for not only the sport but his athletes.

President Trump has set up new policies and regulations that required our coach to apply for his permission to stay in the US more than once.

I could not have imagined any other coach leading our program but him.

I know the feeling as well. When you started from nothing and have fought to get where you are now, and a simple piece of paper decides your fate and can simply take it all away.

Thankfully, after the second attempt, he finally was able to settle in to what he can now call his home. But what I want the world to think about is this, “If everyone had to go through this same complicated process just to stay here, would everyone be accepted? Would everyone pass the small questions asked just to prove that some man is my husband and that child really is mine?”

An article posted Jan. 8 in the Los Angeles Times speaks about how Trump had taken away the TPS option from 262,000 Salvadorian’s of whom already had US born children.

What does this mean? It means those families he broke up now have to find a way to stay and hide. Many will continue to do so until they are caught, arrested and sent back home because of this regulation decision.

Others will go back to their native countries in order to avoid problems and the potential of getting the opportunity to ever come back revoked.

Immigration is no joke, and those who have never been face to face with the situation cannot relate. Immigrants are not criminals crossing borders to destroy this beautiful country that many sometimes take for granted.

We come in search for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those things are obtainable if we are given the same opportunities as an equal would.

So, go ahead and take a knee, go ahead and speak out for what you believe in because those who don’t speak are never heard.

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