Dear Donald Trump Supporter, By Undocumented Students

Dear Donald Trump Supporter, By Undocumented Students

"The greatest mistake of the movement has been trying to organize a sleeping people around specific goals. You have to wake the people up first, then you'll get the action" -Malcolm X
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Recently I had the privilege of attending a creative writing workshop at PEN World Voices where I met truly amazing fellow undocumented CUNY students. This week, I asked my peers to join me in writing a collaborative open letter to a Donald Trump supporter.

Dear Donald Trump Supporter,

Thanks a lot, and thanks again for making the USA great again. People have now opened their eyes and can see that America has never been great due to its never-ending racism; which is what makes America great for the privileged but never for the repressed which are again thanks to you, awakening to stand up for what's right and will never again accept oppression.

I understand your fear of somebody coming into the country and robbing it of its culture and land. However, since we give hardly any reparations to the Native Americans, let us follow the purpose of the Constitution, and let us add more items into the melting pot that America is supposed to be. Lady Liberty does not stand for decoration. She is a beacon for the weary immigrants fleeing countries that won't allow them to reach their full potential. Voting for a misogynistic, immoral, racist who sexualized his own daughter will not make America seem "great," unless your idea of great is hypocrisy.

Some people may back him up by saying he isn’t racist. Sure, he isn’t racist by definition but he is spreading unfair racial stereotypes and by doing so he is extremely immature and a man without compassion. America is already great. However, it's people like you and Donald Trump who are shaming its true and evolved greatness.

The campaign slogans you hang so proudly say you want to make America great again yet you are only making American hate again. The first thing Trump said was that when Mexico “sends” its people it doesn't send its best. Even though he said Mexico, we know people like you use this term to refer to all Latinos. His statement not only insulted Mexicans but also all the hard working Latinos and immigrants that have come here wanting to better themselves. He calls us rapists, criminals, and killers. However when two men assault a Latino homeless man in his name, he calls them passionate. He claims that "the Blacks" and "the Hispanics" must be the one raping women and committing all the crimes but he does not pay attention to what's really going on. He turns his head away from the disproportionate and mass incarceration of Black and Latino men due to unfair law enforcement practices. Yet he still blames Mexico for sending the "unwanted."

You see, when Mexico “sends” its people it sends people who are willing to take on jobs that you can't or aren't willing to do. It sends people who help businesses grow and in some cases, come to own their own businesses. It sends people who pay taxes and contribute to the community. It sends people like us who are going above and beyond working, going to college, and actually trying to make America great again. We are people who are not afraid to get up every day at five in the morning only to spend our days at unsafe construction sites, on our knees scrubbing the floors of the privileged, or at degrading low wage jobs just to keep on living.

The other day, I was introduced to a new word. It was "xenophobia" or the fear of foreigners. Is it fear or hatred that you feel towards immigrants? Or both? Did you forget that many of us are daughters, sons, fathers, and mothers just like you? It somehow feels like history is repeating itself again. I thought we wanted a progressive democracy, but it seems that you forget about the "other" which are the immigrants working in restaurants, schools, houses, laundromats etc. We have made our presence visible at the national level. Just because you refuse to acknowledge us doesn't bring us down. It only motivates us to break down the stereotypes that you believe in. We will only be stronger after this. The hate you feed us only serves as a daily reminder of our purpose here: to live our lives and to make a difference.

As I recognize that you might not even acknowledge these arguments as your hate overclouds your judgment, let me ask you, how plausible are Trump's proposals? He wants to build a wall, but how much will this cost? Experts say it will cost more than $10 billion and may take up to 4 years to complete if it is even possible. There are geographical factors that would make the wall very difficult to even build. Your candidate wants to deport people. This will not only separate families but also leave jobs that many people cannot and will not fill. A similar situation happened in Alabama where they managed to move a big portion of the undocumented community out of the state. This had a negative effect on the state and imagine how it will affect the entire country. Trump's proposals will only deteriorate the economy as more than $10 billion is needed for his wall. Additionally, approximately more than $11 billion will be lost from the taxes that the undocumented community pays. There will be jobs that many people cannot fill and the cost for administering a mass deportation is enormous.

Trump's proposals are unethical and will only cause an economic disaster. Are you really going to let your hate and fear cause this much destruction? Are you willing to watch this country burn by a man who claims to have all the right answers even though they are all the wrong ones?

For all it's worth, we are all human beings. We share an innate human connection that neither you nor anyone can take away from us. We are immigrants, we are women, men, children and we are fighters. We will rise above racism, unfair stereotypes, prejudice, and misogyny. And we will not stop until those who demean us are listening. We won't stop until our rights are upheld. We are dreamers who have more than just a dream. In fact, as of now we are more than dreamers. We are doers and we are fighters. Our dreams from now on will only find their way to reality.

Sincerely,

Undocumented Students

Jessica Acero

Erika Apupalo

Mariana Arias Patiño

Miguel De Los Santos

Stevieanna Elva

Apolinar Islas

Nancy López Ramírez

Gabriela Martínez

Dale St. Marthe

P.S. Not even your wall can stop us.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.alternet.org/story/156022/how_student_dreamers_won_a_step_in_immigration_reform

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Why Your Grandma Is Your Biggest Blessing In Life

Because nobody loves you more than she does.
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There are many people in your life you are thankful for: Mom, Dad, siblings, cousins, best friends, teachers, neighbors, you name it. You are grateful to have people who constantly support you, who pick you up when you're down and love you unconditionally. But the one person who stands out among the rest of them is your grandma.

SEE ALSO: 10 Reasons Why Your Grandma Is The Best Person In Your Life

Ever since you were little, you and your grandma have always had a special connection. Going over to Grandma's house for the night was something you looked forward to. She knew how to entertain you at your best and worst moments. No matter what you did together, you loved it. Being with your grandma wasn't like being at home or with your parents – it was better. You went to the park, made cookies, went out to dinner, got a “sweet treat" at the mall, played Go Fish, took a bubble bath for as long as you wanted and got way too much dessert than you should have. You did things you weren't supposed to do, but Grandma didn't stop you. Because at Grandma's house there were no rules, and you didn't have to worry about a single thing. Being with Grandma was the true epitome of childhood. She let you be you. She always made sure you had the best time when you were with her, and she loved watching you grow up with a smile on your face.

The older you got, your weekend excursions with your grandma weren't as frequent, and you didn't get to see her as much. You became more and more busy with school, homework, clubs, sports, and friends. You made the most out of your time to see her, and you wished you could be with her more. Although you were in the prime of your life, she mattered even more to you the older you both became. You were with your friends 24/7, but you missed being with your grandma. When the time rolled around, and you got the chance to spend time with her, she told you never to apologize. She wanted you to go out, have fun and enjoy life the way it makes you happy.

Reflecting back on these moments with your grandma, you realize how truly special she is to you. There is no one who could ever compare to her nor will there ever be. All your life, there is no one who will be as sweet, as caring, as sincere or as genuine as her. Even though you're all grown up now, there are things about your grandma that never changed from when you were a kid. She still takes you out for your favorite meal because she knows how important eating out means to you. She writes you letters and sends you a $5 bill every now and then because she knows you're a hard-working college student with no money. She still helps you with all of your Christmas shopping because she knows it's your tradition. She still asks what's new with your young life because hearing about it makes her day and she still loves you to no end. Your grandma is your biggest blessing (whether you knew it or not), and she always will be no matter what.

Cover Image Credit: Erin Kron

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President Trump Signed His First Veto Of His Presidency Over The Border Wall

Inside the border wall debate.

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The border wall has been a troubling topic over the last couple of months. This wall has caused the longest government shutdown in the history of the United States. On the afternoon of March 14th, Democrats and Republicans shut down Trump's national emergency declaration, for a wall. A 59-41 defeat was a big blow for the President, but he isn't giving up.

On Friday, March 15th there was a ceremony to be held at the Oval office. This ceremony honored mothers whose children were killed by illegal immigrants. When in the Rose Garden, President Trump announced that this national emergency occurs at the southern border. The guests were ushered to the Oval Office to see him officially reject what Congress tried to revoke. After signing it, according to the Daily Mail, he said, "Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution and I have the duty to veto it. And I'm very proud to veto it."

President Trump strongly believes that if the wall is built, drugs and criminals would be at an all-time low. He is convinced that all evils come from Mexico. According to Daily Mail, Attorney General William Barr said, building a wall "from the standpoint of protecting the American people, it is imperative." President Trump says that he is starting to build a more solid wall where there were already borders. He claims to be arresting many gang members, including MS-13 members.

Though members of his own party went on the opposition side, there were 12 who voted for this national emergency. Some members who voted against it are Senator Rubio (Florida), Senator Mitt Romney (Utah), Senator Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and nine other Senators. In order to overturn the veto, there will have to be a two-thirds majority vote, meaning six more Republicans will have to be in favor of it. Congress is in a week-long rest until March 26th where they will all return.

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