About this iReport
  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view Delatorre79's profile
    Posted January 29, 2013 by
    McAllen, Texas
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Naturalized citizens: Your thoughts on immigration reform

    How about the legals?


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Delatorre79 is in the U.S. legally, but he doesn't have a visa or a green card because his application is still pending - and it has been for 18 years. "I'm legal, but I'm stuck in the middle," he told me. "What good is it for me to be legal if they're not going to help us? I've been paying taxes since I got my social security card when I was 21. But yet I'm not receiving anything back...I'm very happy they're helping the people here illegally, but what are they doing for us?"
    - rachel8, CNN iReport producer

    My story represents millions of people in this country waiting for an opportunity to progress. When I was 14 years old my parents decided to move to Texas looking for a better opportunity. Since my father was a migrant worker he was granted a green card and he decided to legally bring his family to Texas. In addition, he filed a petition for my mother, my sister and I to make sure we were in legal status and follow the law.
    My first years in an American school were not easy. I was bullied and criticized by most people, including teachers, about my skin color, my looks, my accent, etc. It was strange since Hispanics were majority at the school but most were first generation Mexican-American, therefore, they did not suffer any obstacles as I did and since they were born in the USA and they were “saved”.
    When I graduated from High School and I could not move forward since I did not have a social security number. When I turned 21 I was given a SSN thru the Family Unity Benefits and a temporary permit to work for two years. I started working very hard and attended college for the first time when I was 22 years old. Since I did not qualify for any type of help, I could only attend college part-time whenever I had money to pay for tuition. It took me 8 long years to get my bachelor’s degree in business which was conferred in 2009.
    Today I am 33 years old, my father became US Citizen, I am bilingual, I received my degree in business, and finished my training for a teacher certification and I am still waiting for a VISA for my resident card.
    I have been waiting for 18 years as the government recommends us immigrants to keep waiting and get “ready”. Well, I am educated now, I pay my taxes as everyone else, I did not received any aid from the government, and I contribute to the community; Not mentioning the thousands of dollars I have paid to USCIS to update my status and for their mistakes and there is no refund.
    I really hope my story inspires others and gives hope to those in the shadows working very hard to support and protect their families. We work very hard in this country and we have so much respect for the flag and the constitution. Please remember that this great nation was created by immigrants and before you criticize anyone looking for a better future, as yourself how YOU ended up here.
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