To those who told me Trump would not actually do what he claimed, I hope you are working to fix the damage you and his supporters have caused.
I have never had so many panic attacks in one week like I did during his first week in office. Every other hour, news outlets would report another executive order and palms would get sweaty and heartbeat rapidly increased. This is what the life of undocumented immigrants will be like for the next four, maybe eight years.
Executive Orders Week
We were told DACA would be cancelled during the first week, which it’s something I’ve been preparing for since he won. Even though, I’ve never forgotten that DACA is a temporary solution, when the end of the program seemed near I didn’t handle it as well as I thought I would. That week, my anxiety worsened everyday. All of the executive orders directly affect my community and I felt hopeless. I’ve never felt this way before. Every day, I thought of ways we could stop him, but how could we fight when all the power is at the tip of his fingers. That week, I cried in silence at work. I cried, hoping my tears would wake me up from this nightmare. Unfortunately, we all know this was just the beginning.
The Muslim Ban
When the ban was announced, I was in shock as if part of me believed there was still a chance he had been lying about everything to this point. I ran home as if the walls of my house could still protect us. The separation of Muslim families reminded me when we left El Salvador and I had to say bye to my family. Being torn apart from your siblings, grandparents, etc. it’s something I would never wish on anyone. After I could deal with my own emotions, I texted my Muslim friends and I could feel their pain through my phone screen. Their sorrow made my heart heavy and it squeezed the last bit of hope I had. Hopelessness became a daily feeling.
The Hardest 5 Days Yet
According to Fusion, ICE officials have confirmed the arrest of 680 immigrants in a five-day nationwide operation. This week, I felt small and powerless. This week, I felt fear once again. My heart aches thinking of everyone who was deported during Obama’s terms and now in the Trump era. Sleeping under the same roof as my parents seems like a privilege when hundreds of children are crying themselves to sleep because their loved ones are no longer here.
I wish I could get everyone out of deportation proceedings in this moment.
I wish my arms were long enough to hug my 11 million undocumented brothers and sisters.
Part of me feels silly for expecting anything more from a country that was founded on the genocide of indigenous communities and the enslavement of African people. Why did I ever think they would treat immigrants of color any different than they have treated those who have been oppressed for decades on this stolen land?
My body and mind are exhausted. I sit through class thinking about what I will do if they come for me, my family, and friends. At night, I hug my parents a little bit longer.
My love for humanity gives me the energy I need to resist!
Every day is a new battle filled with uncertainty and anxiety. I believe we can survive and resist if we love each other more than ever. My love for the undocumented community has empowered me to march, fight, and be fearless before he became president and it shall continue to strengthen me. The love I have for my family gets me out of bed when my body refuses to do so. The love my friends and community have for me make me believe there is still some good in this world. Yes, some days I lose hope, but I never stop loving. All of this love shall make me resist everyday he’s in office. If someday I am forced to leave, keep fighting for justice as I will do the same wherever I am.