I am speaking to you today to share the experiences I have as one who battles with both depression and an undocumented status. It is difficult enough for one to live with this condition, let alone doing so with frustrations that come with being undocumented.
I was diagnosed when I was 14, a year before I discovered my undocumented status. It is important to note this because just like any person, we all go through problems; we are so much more than our situations.
With that being said, my undocumented status places limits on virtually all my actions, including my thoughts. No matter where I am, I feel the need to look over my shoulder. Given the fear and uncertainty in which I live, I alter my behavior to survive in a misinformed society which villifies us by claiming that we have come here solely to leech of the government, steal jobs, and cause crime.
Growing up, I faced hopelessness and disappointment. I was raised to believe that if I studied hard in school, and waited patiently for my residency application to be processed, i would be rewarded with the papers I can use to get a good career. I filled out the forms just as the system asked, and waited for more than ten years. nothing happened. I fell into an even deeper depression and began to question my own value. Perhaps I was somehow not good enough…perhaps I’m just not wanted here, regardless of my character.
Undocumented immigrants do not wish to be simply granted my papers. We are asking for a reasonable and timely opportunity to earn them, in order to have have legitimate access to rights and employment. We want to work. We want to reach out full potential in this country, just like any American.
Deporting Yanelli only enforces a set of outdated and broken laws. Deporting her will solve nothing. Deporting her will cause her to be sent to a country which is foreign to her, and will only further aliennate her while she is in this fragile state. This is not what she needs. She needs proper treatment.
We ask not for pity and false promises, but for humanity and reason. Treatment for people in this situation is sorely needed, and above all, a change of law in order to prevent this, and similar situations from reoccurring.