Living On the Other Side

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Its college application time at all high schools. Most students have it easy and don’t think twice about applying to college. Jenny Muroz, senior ( whose name has been changed) gets reminded of her legal status, as she is not like every other student.

¨I have to live with the shame of raising my hand and telling the counselors that I don’t have a social security,¨ Muroz said.

The year is 2018 and we live in Trump’s America; many undocumented immigrants fear for their life as there is constant attention on “illegal aliens” in the United States especially under the Trump administration. This administration has said that ¨A Trump administration will stop illegal immigration, deport all criminal aliens, and save American lives.” ”

Students like Muroz face a challenge that affects them and their daily life. The year is 2018 and we live in Trump’s America; many undocumented immigrants fear for their life as there is constant attention on “illegal aliens” in the United States especially under the Trump administration. This administration has said that ¨A Trump administration will stop illegal immigration, deport all criminal aliens, and save American lives.”

Many people like Muroz hear this and know they are never safe, even if they have pledged allegiance to the United states. Ever since Muroz was a little girl she always knew she wanted to be a criminal investigator, as she always liked to solve mysteries and liked puzzles. She admits she never thought citizenship was going to play a big part of her life as she was just an ordinary girl, or so she thought.

¨For my whole life, I thought I was just like everyone else, until my sophomore year in highschool. I started to open my eyes and see kids working and driving and soon the task of applying to college; I realized I was going to have trouble doing all these things¨. Muroz got hit with the reality undocumented immigrant students face. Although there is no federal or state law that prohibits the admission of undocumented immigrants to U.S. colleges, there are still hurdles for students to jump as undocumented students cannot legally receive any federally funded student financial aid, including loans, grants, scholarships or work-study money.

The system is designed to make it hard for undocumented students to go to college because the reality is most don’t even have the money.

¨Even though the system is set for me to fail, I’m still determined to accomplish my goals¨ says Muroz. She expects to raise money to be able to go to college in whatever way she can; she has mentioned raising money from family or starting a Gounde account. Muroz also struggles when trying to get a job. Since most applications require a social security number and most of the time ask if you can proof citizenship, a job is out of the question for Muroz.

She also fears for the future.  

¨I’m scared that even with my sacrifice of getting a college degree, I still won’t be able to work anywhere and that my time will have been wasted,¨ Muroz said. Despite this, she is hopeful of the future and prays her effort will all be worth it.

Another problem Muroz faces is she, can’t legally drive since she doesn’t have a license, making it very difficult for her to get around anywhere. Moruz mentions that she does not feel safe around police and avoids driving due to news she hears on  television about immigrants. She recalls a story she read where a father of three in Washington state called 911 simply to report a trespasser, and was hand-delivered by local police into the custody of federal immigration officials.

¨Hearing stories like this makes me sad, because regular people are treated like criminals even if they haven’t committed a crime, and now I have lost trust in all police,¨ Muroz said.

Muroz has lost hope in America and hates the fact that she is despised upon by many just because of her status, she adds,  ¨What fault do I have, I was brought to the states when I was only 2 years old I had no say.¨

Overall, Jenny Muroz does not feel like a person in the country she calls home, instead she feels like a criminal.

¨I wish people could see from both perspectives, and put themselves in my shoes for one day,¨ Muroz said.