On being a wetback (illegal immigrant)

by Cristian
(Mexico)

My whole family is from Mexico. When I was about 10, my sister was diagnosed with a brain tumor (15 years ago). The doctors said she'd only live for another year so my parents grew very desperate. We crossed the border into the USA legally as we had a visa. This visa did not allow us to live in the USA however, but we did anyways.

My mom had found some loopholes, programs, and kind people that would grant my sister free medical care in the USA even though we were living there illegally. The catch was that she had to be living in Texas and my parents - not wanting to split us up - brought over the whole family to El Paso, TX.

Well over a million dollars have been spent on my sister by the USA and she still lives to this day (although her quality of life is in my view, very very poor).

I have since returned to Mexico and I am glad I did. Being an undocumented immigrant is far too stressful, you feel like you cannot do anything, you have to be hiding, you have to be careful all the time, and worst of all you fell like you're not good enough. It's funny the impact a piece of paper can have on your self-esteem and on your thought patterns. I don't think there was a single day since I became aware of my illegal status that I did not think and worry about it.

I had a lot of resentment inside of me because other kids whose grades and behavior were far inferior to my own, were getting opportunities that I could never have. All of this, because of a decision that I never made since I was too young when my family decided to take me to America.

I think I am finally over it, I have no desire to return to the USA, legally or otherwise. I also have no resentment anymore, my parents made a decision which I probably would have made myself for the sake of my child - if I had one. There are other countries which are, and have been, more welcoming to me and I will pursue them instead.

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