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We’ve been publishing a series of posts from the DREAMers of the Campaign for an American DREAM. In March, they set off from San Francisco to begin a 3,000-mile, 8-month walk to Washington, DC to call attention to the DREAM Act and the need for immigration reform.
Today’s post is from Raymi Gutierrez, a student pursuing a BS in Sociology at the University of Utah.
Leaving home is the biggest sacrifice I have made since joining this walk. I have missed my family over the past two months. I have often cried because I was not home to help pay the bills, watch my younger siblings’ softball and baseball games, or spend time with my brother, who I am very close to, on Tuesday nights.
Since my arrival, it’s been hard to balance organizing for the campaign, meeting up with friends, and spending time with my family. One day I visited my parents’ house and noticed that several things were still the same — not that I expected thins to change drastically within the two months I’ve been gone. I went home to relax but instead, became the family driver and shuttled between picking up and dropping off siblings.
One of the things that has stayed the same, and has significantly bothered me, was dropping my well-educated brother off at work, where he is a janitor. It irks me that despite his two B.S. Business degrees, the only job he is qualified for is to clean buildings…all because he lacks a social security number.
This is not right. It’s not fair.
I know firsthand how passionate and dedicated he is in his endeavors and that he wants nothing more than to to apply his skills, talent, and education in the Marketing industry. It pains me to see him suffer like that. So, instead of sitting back and hoping for change, I have gotten involved to make the change it is that I want to see.
As much as I want to stay home to help my family with bill payments and errands, I have regained motivation to continue the work I signed up for. There is a lot of work to be done in Utah. The communities here have been dormant on this issue for too long.
In conclusion, immigration comes with sacrifices, and sacrifices come out of love. I have gained the confidence to bring up this topic and challenge others to see the human side of it. To hear about DREAMers who overqualify for their current job(s) is a common story. It has been more than a decade since the D.R.E.A.M. Act was introduced, we cannot wait any longer. I will continue in this movement for the sake of the countless lives affected by what politicians decide, and push for positive change. People have the power, they just don’t exercise it much. Do realize that people power goes beyond voting.