La Voz de los Líderes: Alexandra Cruz's High Hopes for the Immigration Summit

By Jossie Flor Sapunar on 10/01/2012 @ 05:09 PM

Written by: Alexandra Cruz

Living in Los Angeles, California, a place where immigration is always news-worthy, it’s unavoidable to not get wrapped in conversations of immigration reform. This whirlwind of policies, laws, promises, and ideas has become an issue too complicated even for those who are going through the process. In a city of glitz and glamour, the topic of immigration is alive and well—gossip amongst comadres and compadres about these issues is typical; especially in Spanish-language media, where radio hosts report to their listeners locations of migra raids.

When I ask my father for the reason for uprooting my mother, brother, and sister, he responds by saying he wants his children to be leaders of society, clearly stating, “I want you to be educated. This opportunity of obtaining education is the only possible inheritance I can give you and your siblings.” It boggles my mind to think that education for his children was the only motivation for his drastic sacrifice. When he left Guatemala, he knew he would be a lost cause, unable to build a future at thirty-five in another country, but he was able to set aside his goals so that his children could have the potential for success.

Now look at my family almost twenty-five years later and explore the results of his sacrifice. My brother is a graduate from Georgetown University and president of a non-profit organization in Los Angeles. My sister—an honor roll graduate from the California State University, Los Angeles, and working as a child social worker for the county. Lastly myself—entering my final year as an undergraduate from the University of California, Riverside and interning at Washington D.C. with LULAC, the most prestigious Latino organization in the country.

For those attending the Immigration Summit on October 4th, I urge you to come with the mentality of helping and bettering the future of our society. We need to look forward and figure out what would be the best route for comprehensive immigration reform so that everyone may have the same prospects for success that I have had.

My hope for the Immigration Summit is to clear out biased political ideas and to set in motion a clear route towards comprehensive immigration reform. Undocumented citizens could then concentrate on academic achievement without the fear of deportation and the inability of continuing their education, emotions that have vexed my fellow classmates who lack citizenship and yet still hope to be successful. If we can find a solution that allows the youth to achieve their highest potential within society, we have found then a solution to all this chaos, in my idealistic mind. This is my hope as a first generation, Californian, Guatemalan-American, female, and LULAC intern. I am a product of the greatest sacrifice; let our future generation be a product of our compromise and sacrifice as well.

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