For my entire adolescence, being multiracial has put me in uncomfortable situations. I have had a lot of trouble identifying with my Hispanic roots. With the political climate creating chaos, it brings to light even more issues as I struggle to identify with either of my upbringings. I challenged myself to, instead of choosing a side, embrace both equally and unequivocally.
As a young Latina, I feel it is my place to stand up for my brothers and sisters around me, not just for one race but for human rights as a whole. Last year, I began protesting, going to rallies, and organizing events in San Diego. At first, it was strange being in the crowd unsure of what to expect, but I knew that the work I was doing shouldn’t have just one color as it’s face. This led me to become Co-President of the Dreamers Club at The Preuss School UCSD, a club in which we support students with DACA along with their families. DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a policy that allows people who illegally entered the U.S. as children to receive a two-year period of deferred action from deportation along with a work permit. I brought together over fifty students, some of which are undocumented, and connected them with a lawyer who agreed to waive the re-application fees for DACA that costs upwards of a thousand dollars.
Even though the decisions regarding immigration don’t directly affect me, I believe it is my duty to protect my heritage and the liberties of those around me. As a rising activist, I grew closer with my Hispanic roots, and I distinctly remember the first time I felt a sense of belonging. At a protest in downtown after President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA in September, I waived a sign bearing the words “No human is illegal” as the crowd chanted all around me. The beats of drums held a sound of sweet sorrow and hope, but with each beat I felt more self-assured of my mission. As my involvement with immigration issues revolving around DACA and undocumented students continues, I feel that I am intrinsically motivated to pursue these efforts even more until there is justice for all Dreamers out there.