In 2012, my family and I were finally given some relief (a work permit and a social security number) through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that was brought to fruition thanks to the work of undocumented queer and trans activists who organized and fought tirelessly for this goal. While the program helps undocumented children, the DACA program dehumanizes our parents. The “DREAMer narrative” which demands legalization for undocumented youth works under the assumption that undocumented migration wasn’t their fault and simultaneously criminalizes our parents. Simply put, it makes our parents look like “bad immigrants” who are unfit “illegals.”
At the moment, undocumented folk—especially undocumented queer and trans activists–are fighting for the rights of all those that came before us, so we continue to fight against transphobia, anti-blackness, ageism, and xenophobia.
On a personal note, I do want to gain permanent residency and U.S. citizenship due to DACA’s limitations on international travel. Being separated from your entire family, abuelitxs, tixs, and primxs, for 25 years really takes a toll on you. It’s like a piece of you is missing, especially when your loved ones pass away and you can’t be there to say one last good-bye. Regardless, undocumented or not, I will continue fighting alongside and rising in solidarity with those who seek to dismantle oppressive systems that attempt to destroy us. We won’t stop until every single one of us is free.