For some, immigration issue hits home
Hundreds of students impacted by ongoing debate
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Immigration reform is something that has been talked about for a long time. Illegal immigrants wake up every day with the hope of a better life, jobs and opportunities, but it just seems like an impossible dream for those who live in the shadows.
It’s easy to forget that the faces of immigration are not always strangers. They’re faces you pass in the hallway every day.
Hispanic students from Tomball High School – roughly 27 percent of the student body – say they don’t see overt racism and prejudice on campus, but they’re also reluctant to talk about an issue that can bring heated debate.
“I live thrjough racism constantly; it might not be physically or emotionally, but socially we all always separate ourselves into groups which are mostly by race,” said a THS student who asked not to be identified. “I wouldn’t say we are discriminated against, but I think Hispanics are just not really accepted socially.”
All of the students interviewed for this article declined to use their names.
“Honestly, I don’t see race discrimination in our school, but I do know it’s going on,” said one student. “When I was younger, I did experience feeling discriminated against because of my race. But now I don’t really pay attention to comments that could affect me because I’m proud of who I am and where I come from.”
Such pride is tampered by the reality that we live in a town that saw protests over a day labor site, with terms such as “sanctuary city” used as weapons, not praise.
“I would love an immigration reform because I wouldn’t have to worry about losing my parents at any point,” the THS student added. “With the push for immigration reform and the gain of the Dream Act, it gives illegal students the opportunity to actually be someone in life.”
The Dream Act has had a huge impact on students, giving them the opportunity to earn their way to citizenship regardless of their parent’s legal status. The registrar’s office reports that dozens of current and former students have come in to request paperwork for the Dream Act over the past two years.
Still, it’s just a first step toward true reform.
“I think some people have increased the amount of discrimination against us but it also depends on the environment you’re living in,” one student added. “Some people are glad that we have the ability now to move on in our lives, while most just want us out of their country without giving us a chance to better ourselves.”