Students told their personal stories of finding out they were living in the country illegally during an Uptown rally Thursday to protest recent legislation directed at immigrants.
A couple students shared their speeches with me. Here is one from Elver, 19, who graduated from a Charlotte-Mecklenburg High School in 2009.
'My name is Elver and I'm undocumented and unafraid.'
Yes I am undocumented and I’m not afraid of what people might think because it is not a crime, and I’m not doing anything wrong. I’m just working like most people in this country. I didn’t choose to come to the United States, my parents made that decision for me because it was safer for me to live here in the states than in my own country with violence and the killing every day. That’s not what parents want for their kids, and that’s not what my parents wanted for my future.
I came here when I was 14 years old, and when I arrived I didn’t speak any English, I had to adapt to a whole new society, and teachers and staff told me that I couldn’t go to college or do well in school because I was “illegal”, and I couldn’t speak the language. To their surprise I graduated in the top 11% of my class in June of 2009, and now ever since I graduated I have been fighting hard for the right of education, the right to higher education for the undocumented students like me and 65,000 other students that graduate each year from high school in the nation that cant go to college because they’re undocumented. And bills like the HB 343- it is basically racial profiling, and is somebody’s way to kick us out this country which to many is our only and 1st home country.
But is up to us the people, the youth and it is in our hands- the power of change, the power of the people, the power to make the voices of those whose voices are not being heard. In your hands is the future of us the undocumented youth. The youth are the future of the United States but we are also the present and we have to show that we can and we have to power to make change. Therefore I want to ask you to come out the shadows, undocumented youth, come out and let’s show the community of Charlotte that we exist and that we are youth with dreams just like any other U.S citizen. Let’s show the community of Charlotte that the undocumented people and our allies are stronger than before, and we are one voice, the voice of change and the voice of the future. "