About this iReport
  • Approved for CNN

  • Posted June 27, 2014 by
    Laurel, Maryland
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    President’s immigration plan: Your views

    Hiding in plain sight


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Marcelo came to the U.S. From Brazil in 1999 and has been living as an undocumented immigrant since then. He asked that CNN not use his full name, as he doesn't want to put his family at risk. He came here on a tourist visa and admits that he is "the one responsible for being here illegally," he said. "I wasn’t necessarily aware the consequences of overstaying my visa. When you’re 25, you’re sometimes naive.”

    Marcelo has worked as a TV cameraman and producer, including at a Portuguese station for which he covered the 2000 Presidential Election in Washington. He says he is not only a taxpayer, but an employer. He started his own TV production business in his wife's name in 2009 and employs about 10 people, according to records from the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.

    He wrote this essay to tell people that undocumented immigrants are more than a stereotype. He is a father, an employer and a journalist. "I can't do all of this under the law. I have no guarantees that I’ll be able to stay and that sucks, unfortunately,” he said. "Living with the weight of the unknown has kept many people like unable to show how proud we are to be here. We are proud of this country and we wait for the day that we don't need to hide it anymore."

    Related: Read about the family secret that changed David Martinez's life in his essay: I didn't know I was undocumented.
    - zdan, CNN iReport producer

    For the last 16 years I have been living in US. 15 and a half as an undocumented immigrant.
    Different than the stereotype of the usual "ilegal immigrant" I don't look spanish, I speak good english and I have a regular job... well, I am a TV producer.


    For years I have worked as a cameraman/editor/producer. I have had legal access to various high profile events, visited the White House several times (even the oval office) and all the perks that my job have proportioned.


    It is a great honor being able to cover these stories and witness history as a journalist in USA but reality hits back every time you think that a simple police stop could take away everything you have built on this great country.


    After years of hard work I was able to start my own tv production company. My company employs 10 people, who work full time as graphic designers, engineers, technicians, etc. We also own and operate a full HD television production truck designed for sports coverage. On the past months we were able to broadcast games for major networks like CBS Sports, Comcast, etc.


    Would they hire me if they knew? Well, the funny thing is that if they do so, they are not doing anything wrong! My company is a legal LLC company in the sate of Maryland. We pay taxes, works comp, etc.


    The fact is that the USA has provided us legal ways to live a good part of the american dream. The part were we can generate jobs, revenue, taxes by legally creating a business. The only problem is that eventually it could be taken away. Operating a legal business means nothing when you personally live here iligally.


    It would be bad for both me and USA.


    The USA would loose a good well stablished company, a few well paid jobs, some taxes from all of us... me on the other hand would loose everything I have been building for 16 years. Looking at it this way, it is hard to find the motivation to keep going.


    Sure, I cannot forget that I am the one responsible for being here illegally and ultimately it would be my responsibility to assume the consequences of my decisions.The sad part is that on this story no one really needs to loose anything.


    I sure hope for the day I will not need to hide anymore.


    Living with the weight of the unknown has kept many people like me unable to show how proud we are to be here. We are proud of this country and we wait for the day that we don't need to hide it anymore.

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