“I think that as a child, (your status) doesn’t really set in. Like if somebody were to tell you that you weren’t born here and weren’t here legally, I guess, at first you don’t know what it means. But then as you grow up and go to school, slowly you make a definition of what being undocumented would be, how it feels.
I guess living in a family of mixed-status becomes, like, if you have a sibling or something who is authorized here, it could be a little difficult to see how they have more opportunities than you do. It can be draining.
After high school, I see myself going to college. Honestly, any college just furthering my education. With a psychology degree, I would want to help people who need it, who are like suffering or struggling mentally. The career that I want when I grow up is probably going to have to do with helping others and making sure that they are safe, or feel comfortable.
I think I would just emphasize how immigrants, whether they are documented, undocumented, they’re all human beings. So, just to say that, in my point of view, it doesn’t really matter where you’re born. It’s just, it more matters what your intentions are. I would just emphasize that everybody deserves an opportunity or a chance to succeed.
So, I would paint a picture with a grey color, I would just show immigrant families coming in with despair on their faces because often immigrants move because of the situation that they are in previously. It’s not safe, or it’s not a situation where one can sustain a family. But I would also show that in the United States, some people don’t welcome immigrants.”
*Pseudonym, not her real name. Data collected in 2017.
Research study conducted by Dr. Laura M. Gonzalez, School of Ed., UNC Greensboro