The first time I met one of my fellow Texas Dreamers, Ramiro Luna, he was speaking at a panel and he ended his speech by saying:
They say I’m breaking the law
But too often it feels like the law is breaking me
And really I’m just trying to break free
This stuck with me because the “Dreamer Paradox” as I like to call it, is exactly that — we are in a country that advocates freedom, yet in this very country we are not free. Some may argue that I am free to live here, that I am free to be here, but I am not. A person is not free when they see a cop stopped behind them at a red light and don’t only think about the ticket they are going to get, but they think about their life being over in a split second — did I make a complete stop? was I going too fast? can he stop me for checking my phone? don’t make a wide turn …
A person is not free when they cannot go eat at Mambo’s (my personal favorite) for fear of being picked up.
A person is not free when they are not allowed to check books out of the public library.
We are trapped in this metaphorical prison full of hatred, injustice, and food that never tastes homemade. We are trapped and cannot free ourselves. We go to college to free our minds. And we cross state lines every chance we get to free our souls.
But we are not free to be everything that we can be. And isn’t that an American motto? The one we grew up with?
The DREAM Act is more than giving a bunch of deserving graduates a number. The DREAM Act is setting these innocent people free.
Watch Jason Witmer’s report on DREAMer’s struggles and stories here
© July 2011. T.A.