Fourteen years ago, my family crossed the US-Mexico border in search of a better life. We moved to Dallas, where I grew up. My father worked as an electrician, and my mother was a part-time housewife and factory worker. Needless to say, I was undocumented, but I didn't pay much attention to this fact until I started school.
As a child, I wanted to be a myriad of things: a meteorologist, a physicist, a computer programmer, an astronaut, a businessman, anything that would take me to exciting places, real or imagined. But I always got the eerie feeling that I could not be anything I wanted to be. I feared that ICE would take me and my family away, wipe my dreams away like rain on a window pane. I faced limitations when the time came to apply to college, and I was not certain that I would go anywhere beyond my hometown.
But I had people who supported me, people who saw my undocumented label as nothing more than that: a label. With help from my teachers and mentors, I was able to get a full ride scholarship to Yale, where I could start building my future. A year and a half into college, I obtained deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA); I was happy to get my first real job as a technician, and I slowly got involved in the things I loved: immigration, technology, and business.
I didn't stop there. I had always dreamed of exploring other parts of the world, and with DACA, I applied to study abroad in the United Kingdom. I am currently in the UK, learning new things and meeting wonderful people. I want to be able to return to the United States and say "I went there. I could have stayed behind, but I didn't want to stand still." That is what immigration is about; it is about moving forward, building your future while carrying the things you love with you. I want other people to be able to do the same.