- Posted June 23, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Immigration: How does it affect you?
An Illegal Child
I was here illegally as a child. I knew I was here illegally because my mother told me and my siblings the truth, so I knew of the possibility of getting deported and having to keep my mouth shut about not having a social security number or a green card.
My mom had to support three kids on $900 a month without food stamps, welfare or any type of government help. I was 9 years old. I lived fear and poverty here in America but as a child I didn't see it that way.
In Ecuador we were not poor, we were ok. Not rich or well-off but OK. However, in Ecuador, like in most other countries, you see true poverty. You see true hunger and true pain. What always struck me was seeing very small children, some even fitting the category of toddler, begging for money on the streets. Remembering these sights, now as a mother, makes it difficult to even write this story and claim that I lived in "fear and poverty". It just doesn't feel that way to me when I know life could have been a lot worse and it is a lot worse for some children.
Our years as a family living here illegally ended when my mom married an American man, which allowed us to obtain green cards and become legal residents. It was an enormous sigh of relief to say the least.
I can't deny that my family struggled. Being in a country illegally is a scary and difficult situation for children and it is not a decision they made or were mentally equipped to make. But for that same reason I think adults who have made the decision to come to the U.S. illegally have to face reality. The U.S. currently has a punishment for that and it's called deportation. Whether we like it or not.