Life of an Immigrant: Valentina Nunez
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In these tense, agitated times, many immigrants walk the hallways at school worried about their futures.
With President Trump in charge, being deported is a common fear, and to many, the feelings involved are unimaginable.
“If I got deported, it would feel like I’m being kicked out of my own country, because I’ve grown here, and this is my home,” junior Valentina Nunez said.
Although being an immigrant provides people with opportunities they wouldn’t have otherwise, there are some disadvantages.
“A disadvantage probably would be always being afraid, being afraid of not having home stability, or a secure place to be in,” Nunez said.
She explained how her, her mother and her brother’s lives would be affected if they were to be deported.
“If we go back to Mexico I would probably have to work right away, maybe I wouldn’t be able to continue my education,” she said. “We will probably have to move into the small town that my grandma lives in with her for a few months. Then, my mother will have to find work, which will be hard because of her age.”
Thankfully, in Tomball, immigrants do feel that the unique diversity they bring is appreciated.
“People ask about your culture and you are proud to tell someone about your culture, and they ask because they’re interested, which is the best part,” Nunez explained.
‘Dreamers’ like Valentina, who have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) documentation, have to wait a few months every two years to get new legal papers.
“I worry about how long it would take to renew my papers, since mine expires this year,” she said. “If I don’t get accepted by the time the one I have right now expires, then I would have to quit my job, and wait out, and I cannot do that because I have bills to pay and of course the bills are not gonna wait for me to get the job back.
“If it takes longer than expected to get it, then you’re probably gonna be scared of going out and stuff because you know it expired, and you’d be breaking the law. They get you a notice 90 days before it expires so you can file it again. I already put mine in. It’s easier to get it if you’re renewing it like me, so I hope I get it soon. With the government right now, I guess it will take about 5 months to a year to get the documents.”
The wait is not the only concern.
“It is a lot of money to pay,” Nunez said. “I had to save up for like half a year to pay for a lawyer and DACA. The total cost of the documents is about $945, because the lawyer was $450, and the application itself is $495, and that’s how much I’m probably gonna be paying every two years. If you do the math, then, yeah, it’s a lot of money.”