shared by Fr. Mark Miller, C.PP.S., Pastor, Sedalia Catholic Community
Hi, I’m Undocumented and I’ve been in the United States for about 9 years. I am 14 years old. I have an amazing family that I love. I am a member of a Catholic parish. I would like to tell you my experience here in the U.S. living as an undocumented teenager.
When your kids go to school, they will usually say that they want to be in some kind of sport: soccer, football, basketball, wrestling, etc. Then you sign them up and the next day they’re on the team. Well, for us undocumented people, we don’t get those types of privileges. You may ask yourself, “Why?” Well for us there is always a problem: no insurance. As you know, your child’s school will always ask for his or her insurance before they enter any sport. We don’t have insurance, which means we cannot join any sport or any other extra-curricular activities.
Have you ever thought about undocumented children, teenagers and parents while you’re at your summer vacation? They don’t have a summer vacation. They’re usually at home watching movies, making a cake, outside mowing the lawn or helping their mom by washing dishes. They can’t take the risk of getting caught on the road to a vacation without a driver’s license. Our parents are afraid they’re going to get deported or get sent to court for not having a driver’s license. We prefer not to do anything too risky for something not too important. Don’t you think they’d like to adventure to new places and discover mysteries of the world? Or maybe just take a break from all of the work?
I also want to talk about the school side of this. There is a good and bad part to this. I’ll start with the good side. The good thing is that it doesn’t matter if we’re undocumented or not; we still have a right to have an education. But the bad thing is that once we have an education, we have limited access to it. We can’t have every class we would wish to have, or be in any sport we want to be in. Are we going to be like this all the time in school? Are we ever going to have an opportunity for anything? How are we going to be someone better in life?
There is always a positive side to this from my point of view. For example, all of my family is together. There are children that don’t have their mothers or fathers with them because they have been separated. There are also teenagers that live all their lives depressed because they have never had the chance to meet their mothers or fathers. There are also millions of children that are dying of hunger or suffering from the weather while crossing the Rio Grande with their mothers, trying to find a better future here in the U.S. Are we going to keep separating families? God once said that the family was holy. Are we following God’s example or are we doing what we think is right for us?
Always remember to help those in need. You never know if they’re having trouble because they don’t have a home or food to stop their hunger. Always thank God that you have a roof that covers your head from the freezing snow and the lightning from the storms. But most importantly, thank God every night that you have your families together.
The question is: Are we going to be like this forever? Are our lives always going to be hiding in the shadows? Is our destiny for our lives going to be overpowered with fear? Is there ever going to be someone that’s going to solve this and speak up for us? How can we follow God’s steps? Is this what God wants?