[Editors' Note: Below is a personal reflection by an undocumented student living in the United States.]
My grandfather taught me that "There is magic and meaning in every moment." These words were passed down to him from his grandfather, and from his grandfather's grandfather, and I witness the truth of those words with my eyes every day. I have come to realize that as Shakespeare wrote, they are "upon me proved." As an undocumented immigrant, I do not need to be accepted into your terrestrially timed nation-state to be the human I was created to be. My life trajectory has a destiny and fate that is not controlled by the powers of empire. As my grandfather taught me, I am sure that there is magic and meaning in my life. Love is what brought me into this world, and it is by compassion and grace that I was raised. I am done begging, sitting, waiting, and crying at your doorstep.
I am who I am because, as one of the most influential black-American authors and poets during the pre-civil rights era, Richard Wright, said, I was taught to "revere the fanciful and imaginative." I am who I am because as author and philosopher Thomas Carlyle said in his The French Revolution, "No lie can live forever." I am who I am because as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, as he quoted an abolitionist, "The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice." All of these great visionaries would agree with me in saying that the decisions of an empire are not what give me my human dignity, and, therefore, an empire cannot take away my humanity. While there are days where I feel lost, there are others where I feel found because I know that I am loved and will continue to be loved, regardless of my undocumented status. For this, we must all praise and pray, for we exist because of and within love's grasp and love's loving embrace, knowing that someday every tear will be wiped from our face (Revelation 21:4).
And, it is in knowing that our worth does not come from our acceptance within an empire, our acceptance within the United States, as legal citizens of this nation, but rather through the love, compassion, and grace we are able to give and receive that we reveal our true selves. Knowing this, we choose the life we want and need and have to live. Knowing this, we will walk in the light and love of truth. Inspired by the words of W.E.B. Du Bois in On the Sorrow Songs, we are all travelers, "And the traveller[s] gird [them and their] selves, and set [their] face toward the Morning, and go [their] way." And, we will knowingly and lovingly walk with you.