Silicon Valley De-Bug / New America Media, First Person, Adrian Avila, Posted: Feb 03, 2013
In a packed high school gym in Las Vegas, Nevada, President Barack Obama calmly spoke on the real possibility of comprehensive immigration reform. As I sat in my chair just 15 feet away from the president, I was trying to understand what was going on in front of me. As an individual that was undocumented for 22 years here in the United States, I couldn’t believe that I was about to hear a speech that I have dreamed of my entire adult life.
Only four months prior, I would have not been allowed in to this event since I wouldn’t have been able to provide proper identification. Back then, I was an undocumented immigrant with very little opportunity in this country.
Words can’t and never will truly explain what it means to be undocumented. It would be like describing what a marathon feels like to someone who has never ran more than a mile. But as someone who has seen both side of the undocumented line, I am hopeful that, this time, change will come.
After surviving as an undocumented immigrant since the age of six, I am now a current U-Visa holder, which grants me legal status in this country for four years. I also now have a path to permanent residency and one day citizenship.
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