“Sometimes I feel like I can’t set my roots here completely because it could be taken away,” said Andrea Barba, undocumented women and an OUSD graduate. Undocumented children come to the US so they can get the life their parents promised them. But when they face the discrimation they receive it doesn’t make them completely safe in the land of “The Free”. To be free means not to be under control and have the ability to do what one wishes (Oxford). This same adjective is used to describe the US. Yet these ‘immigrants’ have limits that were decided by someone else. The US is a land of immigrants but we treat immigrants like the other, said Nalini Krishnankutty. According to studies and interviews, undocumented people deserve respect and equity as citizens not deportation because they have adapted to living in the USA, because they lived in the U.S. for most of their lives, and because they have successfully graduated from US schools ready to contribute to society.

Thousands and thousands of undocumented people come to the US each year. Most of them are young. And as they grow old, they start to consider the US as home instead of their home country. Yehimi Cambrón, an art teacher at Cross Keys High School, described her experience of going back to her town in Mexico and was stunned by how different both locations (US & Mexico) looked. She then realized why her family didn’t come back. Yehimi quoted, “Our plan was to save up and return [to Mexico] after five years…But your children start growing up here, and they become Americans because they grow up just like the other kids. It’s not until adulthood that you transition into that illegality. We just adapted so well.” (Josh Green). Yehimi Cambrón’s family had a plan to go back to her town once they have money but even in 5 years, they had gotten used to the US struggles and benefits. They are not ready to leave, in fact they don’t want to leave at all. The way the US adjusted white documented youth lives was the same way that changed undocumented youth. White youth has always understood the community they live in and undocumented youth are just learning to understand it at a very young age. Soon, both different ethnic groups of understanding will quickly escalate to the same level. Undocumented will identify themselves like prioritizes children too until they realized that they didn’t have documents that proved they were from the USA. Cambrón’s sentence reads, “We just adapted so well” which shows that after living in the US for her whole life she understood how the society works in America. More than she ever did in Mexico. Cambrón didn’t even know she was undocumented. She seems saddened by the fact that she can’t do many things she thought she could. And with these limits, undocumented youth will have to shorten their dreams. Not being born in the US should NOT be an impediment for undocumented people to be successful in their goals because undocumented people staying here has made them prepared for that succesful future they have planned for all their lives. 

Oakland needs more educated people. People who have shown hard work in which leads to them in their high power positions. Most of those people can be undocumneted people who have graduated from US high schools. Andrea Barba, a OUSD graduate discusses, “It hasn’t changed because I feel that it is more convenient and easier to access materialistic things.” (Barba) In other words, Barba is saying that US gives straight forward access to things people won’t be able to back in mexico. Barba has kept that view of the US all her life.  Barba’s intent of saying, “convenient” & “materialistic things” is that the US has a much easier strategy to finding things in what certain people need. Undocumented youth have a specifc kind help for their level of education that they wouldn’t recive in their home country. And that is why undocumented people can get a better chance of a successful education than in the country they came from. Taking their one and only chance their parents worked hard to give them can possibly destroy them from ever having a better education than anywhere else. A statistic proven by US Dept. of Education 2015 in San Diego State University reads, “Approximately 65,000 undocumented students graduate from U.S. high schools every year, 25,000 of those students graduate from California high schools.” (SDSU) What this fact is implying is that California high schools is the most common state for undocumented students to graduate. California is known to be filled with people of color. Not only is this state so common for undocumented people, but it is probaly the safest for them. My assumption for so many undocumented people adhere in California is that there is a lot more opportunities and programs specifically for those groups than in any area in the US. Which is probably why undocumented people call the US home. For them to recede to their forgein country, it’ll be like they discovered a whole new world besides the fact that they were born there.

Furthermore, undocumented people deserve respect and equity as citizens not deportation because they have adapted to living in the USA and because they lived in the U.S. for most of their lives and have successfully graduated from US schools ready to contribute to society. Intelligent undocumented individuals get deported back to their country is equvlient as to enable the stereyotypes spreading onto future generations. Not only in Oakland, but the entire nation. We cannot depend on one single, possibly a cruel leader (our president), we need to depend on each other as leaders. We still have the ability to stop the oppressive history from repeating itself into our presence.  

Annotated Bibliography 

Barba, Andrea. “Undocumented People.” 29 Nov. 2019.

In this interview Andrea was reflecting on her past and her early memories of her journey coming to the US. When she was reflecting, it was a bit emotional because she never really took time to look back. Andrea left at 3 months and went back when she was 8. But after a year she went back to the US which negatively affected her education. This intelligent experienced female was chosen to be interviewed because she had been raised here and understood the US circumstances. She has been to both locations. With those two views, she was able to compare both of them, the similarities and differences. And she had tons of differences. 

Green, Josh, and Joe Reisigl. “The Bittersweet Stories of Atlanta’s DACA Recipients.” Atlanta Magazine, 25 Oct. 2018, www.atlantamagazine.com/great-reads/the-bittersweet-stories-of-atlantas-daca-recipients/.

This article talks about 6 undocmented individuals that lives in the US and so far sum up how different their lives were from documented youth. Not only that but they had realizations and struggles too. But with all theses mistreated experiences, they have learned from them. Which also lead them explaining their successes too. But only one of the undocomented individuals were mentioned in this writing. Yehimi Cambrón was extremely specific on how she and her family adapted to the US. 

“How Immigrants Shape(d) the United States.” Performance by Nalini Krishnankutty, TEDx Talks, 2 Mar. 2018, youtu.be/irtxoIPBVWs.

Nalini reveals that common actions Americans do actually inherited from the very first immigrants that have settled here before the spanish explorers. Nalini also shows that immigrants were never welcomed in the land they claimed first. Which opens to the similarities that occur to the discrimmantion immigrants deal then and now. Nalini is a writer, researcher, and speaker. She is knowledgeable to speak about a topic like this. She is experienced too. This makes her trustful and believable about what she says. 

“Free: Definition of Free by Lexico.” Lexico Dictionaries | English, Lexico Dictionaries, www.lexico.com/en/definition/free.

Lexico is a dictionary that includes translation to multiple languages and thesaurus (a strong resource for synonyms and antonyms). This online dictionary is powered by Oxford University Press and Dictionary.com. It’s powered by the oldest english-speaking university.  

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6 Comments
  1. Darnell De Luna 4 months ago

    Dear Edith,

    I am a student at SJSU and after reading your article on the undocumented, it really gave me new perspectives on the situation. I am definitely in your support of the argument that we need to treat those undocumented with the same respect that those have grown up in the U.S. The quote you added into your article stated, “Our plan was to save up and return [to Mexico] after five years…But your children start growing up here, and they become Americans because they grow up just like the other kids.” I have never thought about how hard it is to even grow up in the U.S and suddenly have to go back to a country in which you never grew up. This could be really hard not only for the parents but for the children as well. This article has informed me more about this situation that many people in the U.S are facing. I appreciate you sharing this with everyone.

  2. Erica Hodgin 5 months ago

    Edith,
    I really appreciated reading your blog post and learning about the sources you read and the people you interviewed. You have laid out a very compelling argument for why undocumented youth should be able to remain in the US and have expanded rights in our society. I wonder what steps you think young people and the broader community can take to help address this inequity. I know that these are very difficult political times and so it is hard for some people to voice their opinions. What advice would you give them?
    Thank you for sharing what you learned and about this important topic!
    Erica

  3. Jesus 7 months ago

    Dear Edith, Agree with your post Undocumented People Mark Their spot in The USA because in the quote “sometimes i feel like i can’t set my roots here completely because it could be taken away” This is important because a lot of families that come that are undocumented feel like this because at any moment they could just not be here anymore and that is something that maybe family’s fear everyday when they should not have to fear that but they do. Another strong point was when you say that the USA is the land of the free but do people really feel free when they are here are they able to come in and out when they want are they able to live here without any worries. I agree with this point because if this was really the land of the free then shouldn’t people really be allowed to do what they want. Thanks for writing keep it up.

  4. Jesus 7 months ago

    Dear Edith,
    I feel great about your post “Undocumented People Mark Their Spot in The USA”
    And that you decided to choose this topic. One sentence that stood out to me was, ”Thousands and thousands of undocumented people come to the US each year. Most of them are young. And as they grow old, they start to consider the US as home instead of their home country.” it stood out to me because it is true, most of the kids who are brought here to the U.S do see the country as home and where not raised in what was supposed to be their home country. However, a part of your article I disagree with is when you mentioned Andrea Barbara because she didn’t say “materialistic things” as a way to say immigrants can get in power. Have you considered changing the claim to match the quote, the quote talks more about immigrants coming to the U.S and putting in hard work to be able to live in a nicer area and not them getting in power.

  5. Melissa 7 months ago

    Dear Edith, I agree with your blog, “Undocumented People Mark Their Spot In The USA” because you mentioned that the U.S. is called the “land of the free” but, immigrants aren’t free, they are controlled and constantly told what they can and can’t do. You also mentioned “The US is a land of immigrants but we treat immigrants like the other”. These lines stood out to me because we are living on stolen land, the land of immigrants and they are still dehumanized and controlled. You made great points on how immigrants or children of immigrants start to call the U.S. home and how when they go back to their country, they see it as a whole new world and it’s completely different. I agree with this as well because since they’ve lived here for the majority of their life or possibly their whole life, they forget what their country looked like and it’s sad. You are a very talented. writer and thank you for sharing, I hope to come across more of your writing.

  6. Jennifer 7 months ago

    Edith,

    I am in total agreement with you and your blog “Undocumented People Mark Their Spot In The USA” because, after reading your blog, I believe undocumented people feel insecure, unsafe and excluded from society and from a place other than their hometown. Instead of making them live with the constant fear of them one day leaving this country, we should help them out by making sure they feel safe and comfortable at all times; make them feel like they’re at home. One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “…undocumented people deserve respect and equity as citizens not deportation because they have adapted to living in the USA, because they lived in the U.S. for most of their lives…” I think this is very useful and makes a very clear point about how we cannot kick “immigrants” out of the US because they weren’t born there. They’ve lived in this country for more than half of their life and we don’t have the right to kick them out of it because we feel like it. Another sentence that I thought really stood out to me was: “We cannot depend on one single, possibly a cruel leader (our president), we need to depend on each other as leaders. We still have the ability to stop the oppressive history from repeating itself into our presence.” This stood out for me because it made me rethink and realize that if we want something to change we have to take action and not wait on one individual to make decisions for all of us. Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next, because I really liked the variety of evidence you choose and how well you were to analyze it. Again, thanks for sharing and I can’t wait til I come across more of your amazing writing.

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