An immigrant’s perspective

I am an immigrant and a junior criminal justice and psychology major. I am also a senator and representative of the Student Government Association (SGA). I am honored and I am so blessed to be a Marlin and a scholar of Virginia Wesleyan College.

As an aspiring student leader, I am humbled to say that learning English as my second language made me the person I am today. I am here to represent my fellow immigrants and students of our campus, Virginia Wesleyan College. I am here to stand my ground to help represent, to fight and to rectify the misleading information about deportation. I am also here to fight for the undocumented immigrants who do not have any criminal records. As the saying goes, “If there is a will, God will give us the way to stay.”

I came to America 29 years ago looking for a place where people pull together to make their dreams come alive. I was born and raised in the Philippines, and coming to America is the one thing I never dreamt of. God made the way for my family and me to be here in America away from half of my family.

The transition was not easy. I suffered from a lot of insults and discrimination because the language was not the one I grew up with. I have shed a lot of tears during my stay in America. Believe it or not, even my nanay (mother) called me crazy when I told her that, for many years, I had been dreaming of returning to the Philippines. I guess it will never happen if my very own family won’t allow me to go back and be separated away from my new family here.

As an authorized resident of America, I am here to help and assist people in the process of filling out all the necessary papers to become an authorized resident.

Eight years ago when Obama’s administration executed an order to reform the immigration laws to deport and separate families, I did not see any resistance and major dispute about the executive order. However, when Trump did it? People went upside down. Deportation has been the topic of immigration reform for a very, very long time and it is about time to really implement the laws to fix this nightmare.

It has nothing to do with the president and it is not about the temporary ban of immigrants.

Stop resisting and start accepting that we have a new president and we have to obey the law. It not about being rich or poor, it is about fixing the broken and corrupted government. Like many others, I came from a poor family who dreamt that one day God would hear and answer our prayers to make a difference in the lives of many who struggle in life. The time has come and the time is now to help my fellow immigrants to fight a good fight of faith that if we immigrants do our duty and are part of the solution and not the problem, then maybe we can resolve the broken system and move on.

Sometimes we the people have to lose our battle and but aim to win the war, especially when it comes to immigration laws. We all agree that immigration is broken and this is our chance to fix and resolve all our problems and stop hiding and running away from the authority. We must all redeem ourselves to be free from the bandages and the shadow of fear of the unknown. As an immigrant, the battle is not with the president and his administration but is with the American-born citizens of this country. Many Americans think that immigrants are a threat and a burden to the American people, but that is not true.

As I represent my fellow immigrants, I want people to know that we immigrants are also an asset to this country and to the American people and we deserve to be respected like Americans too! As an immigrant and a law-abiding citizen of this country, I respect what is right and condemn the wrong and we as immigrants expect the same from American people. We don’t ask much from this government. We only ask to be treated as human beings with the same dreams as others do. We want to live freely and be liberated from the insults and discrimination from the American people.

Maria Garcia