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    Posted July 30, 2014 by
    Bowling Green, Kentucky
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    President’s immigration plan: Your views

    My father's dream

    My father came to the United States (legally) on a visa in 1979. I was born in 1981, but shortly after my birth my grandmother that was also in the US was diagnosed with cancer. She begged my father to go back to Peru to live the remainder of the months she had left. We went back to Lima, Peru in 1982. My grandmother's cancer was terminal, and she was happy to be home. A few months after our family's arrival we were involved in a terrible car accident that almost took my father's life. He had 7 surgeries including brain surgery. Soon after his release from the hospital, my grandmother passed away. Due to my father's long recovery we remained in Peru for 8 more years. My brother was born in 1989, and during this time Sendero Lumiso a Peruvian terrorist group was a threat to the Peruvian society. My father made the decision to go back to the United States. He was able to obtain employment authorization. I reunited with my father a year later, my mother followed a few months after me. However, it took 2 more years before I would see my brother again. There was only one way to bring him to the United States,. He came undocumented on a plane with another child's passport. He was 3 years old. Our family was happy for many years. My brother was so young when he arrived that his first language was English, and never knew of his legal status until high school. While all his friends were getting a license and jobs, he was depressed and anxious knowing that any minute he could be deported.

    In 2000, my father tried to renew his employment authorization, but was denied. He had bought a house, had a good working social security number, and had paid taxes for 11 years. He worked full time, and was great employee with no criminal history. We were living the American dream until he was self deported. For two years my father attempted to come back, but was denied every single time. Even though I was an American citizen there were so many hurdles for me to help my father, there was very little I could do. After two years of struggling to come back, he crossed many borders and came undocumented to the United States. Our family was once again reunited for a second time, but a few months into his return my father was diagnosed with Cancer. For 3 months he attempted to fight Cancer, but he was defeated. A week after my father passed away we received a letter from INS (immigration) they were reopening his case, a mistake had been made. It was too late. My father was dead, and so was his dream of becoming an American citizen. He loved, and respected this country. As an American citizen I was outraged. I was away from my father for 2 years, that I would never get back.

    As far as my brother, he put himself through college even though he was undocumented. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in English, but could not get a descent job because of his legal status. Thanks to DACA, my brother was able to get employment authorization, and now has a successful career working for a local App company. Although, there is no path for him to receive citizenship, we are still hopeful. We still believe in the same American dream my father had 12 years go. We need immigration reform to pass, we need dreams to come true. We need to stop the separation of families. We are American, a melting pot, a place were dreams come true. We need to stop the hate against immigrants. Every immigrant has a story, and they all deserve a chance. #immigrationreform #americandream #weneedchange #stopdeportations
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