My parents brought me to the United States of America when I was 7 years old. I learned English in under 6 months while my Dad struggled to communicate. My first job was at a McDonalds. I waitressed through college and met people just like me, from all corners of this planet. I learned that some people weren’t as lucky as I was in the details of their journey to the United States. I found out that some people had SNUCK in. I used to sneak into places. I would sneak into a golf club swimming pool to swim with my friends. I would sneak into the woods to waste time with my friends. I would sneak into ponds to jump off bridges in the summer.
What happens, if you sneak in and stay? What happens if you don’t even know that you snuck in? What happens if you had no choice in the sneaking? Do you ever become a part of that which you snuck into?
Ever since my discovery of these concepts I have wanted to be an immigration attorney. After 20 years in school, a summer dedicated to the bar, and numerous strokes of good luck: mission accomplished.
Sergio Garcia is 35 years old. He completed his undergraduate degree without any loans or financial aid. He then did the same to obtain his law degree. He has passed the California bar, earning his license to practice law in that State.
While I came to the United States at age 7, Sergio has been here since he was 17 months old.
When Sergio was denied his law license, "I kind of broke down and started crying," he said. "I'd been working at this for 20 years." http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/11/local/la-me-sergio-garcia-20120611.
The difference between Sergio and I is that his family wasn’t as lucky as mine and he was snuck in. Thirty five years later he is still undocumented in the only home he has ever known. He applied for legal residency in 1995. His application is still pending 17 years later, after his father already became a citizen and his mother a permanent resident. After all of his hard work, sacrifice, and determination, Sergio is a bee keeper because, unbeknownst to him, he snuck in.
I am American. Sergio is American.
Why can I pursue my American dream and why can he not?
Sergio has the support of his professors, former Supreme Court Justices, and California Attorney General Kamala Harris.
Is it possible that with some humanity, common sense, and this support, Sergio and others like him can soon pursue that dream that has made this country so great – even though he snuck in?