I wasn’t born in this country, but it is my home. All the way through grade school, when I pledged allegiance to the flag and the ideals of liberty and justice for which it stands, I felt a pride that was real and true. I’m American, and I love this country and everything that it stands for.
My love for America is complicated, though, by the fact that I was born in Guatemala, and brought here by my parents when I was just 7 years old. Like my parents, I’m an undocumented immigrant, able to stay in this country and work legally only because of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, an executive order signed by President Barack Obama in 2012.
While I didn’t choose to come here, I have chosen — and worked, year after year — to be a real American, and to show those around me that I belong here as much as they do. Being an immigrant, to me, means not taking for granted the opportunities that America has to offer: I worked hard, all through school, to prove myself and to show my classmates that I was as American as they were.
Read the full story from Raleigh News & Observer: “Opinion: A Meredith College student’s wish – let young immigrants like me stay”