Social Optimizers

My entire life as an immigrant that is undocumentedby JOSE ANTONIO VARGAS JUNE 22, 2011

My entire life as an immigrant that is undocumentedby JOSE ANTONIO VARGAS JUNE 22, 2011

Confused and scared, I pedaled home and confronted Lolo. From the him sitting in the garage, cutting coupons. I dropped my bike and ran over to him, showing him the green card. “Peke ba ito?” I asked in Tagalog. (“Is this fake?”) My grandparents were naturalized American citizens as a food server — and they had begun supporting my mother and me financially when I was 3, after my father’s wandering eye and inability to properly provide for us led to my parents’ separation— he worked as a security guard, she. Lolo was a proud man, and I also saw the shame on his face as he told me he purchased the card, and also other fake documents, in my situation. “Don’t show it to other people,” he warned.

I decided then I was an American that I could never give anyone reason to doubt. I convinced myself that if I achieved enough, I would be rewarded with citizenship if I worked enough. I felt i really could earn it.

I’ve tried. Over the past 14 years, I’ve graduated from senior high school and college and built a profession as a journalist, interviewing several of the most people that are famous the country. At first glance, I’ve created a life that is good. I’ve lived the American dream.

But i will be still an immigrant that is undocumented. And therefore means living a kind that is different of. It indicates going about my in fear of being found out day. This means rarely trusting people, even those closest in my experience, with who i truly am. It indicates keeping my children photos in a shoebox in place of displaying them on shelves in my home, so friends don’t ask about them. This means reluctantly, even painfully, doing things I'm sure are wrong and unlawful. And has now meant relying on sort of 21st-century railroad that is underground of, those who took an interest within my future and took risks in my situation.