From One Immigrant to Another: I Am Not Backing Down, and Neither Should You

Editor’s Note: Originally published at JuanSaaa.com.

I am confident that our communities will persevere because we know that we belong together in our home, the United States. (Art by Art: Ciriac Alvarez | @ciriacisbeth)

We can’t give into fear, not today, not tomorrow, not in the next four years.

Friend,

There are no words to describe the fear and anxiety I am experiencing as I watch Donald Trump become our nation’s next president.

As the Republican nominee, Donald Trump promised to launch a massive anti-immigrant agenda. Now, as President of the United States, you can certainly expect some of his attacks on immigrants, Latinos and other people of color to become a reality.

Like most of you, I have been worried about the future of the DACA program. Many of us were able to pursue our education, apply to our dream job and contribute to our communities, thanks to DACA.

While we remain unclear if or when Trump will end the DACA program, and what will become of our collective futures, I wanted to assure you that I have no intentions in backing down my work on behalf of immigrants across the country.

And neither should you.

Our community won DACA, thanks to the advocacy of young people who believed in the promise of this country. Young people who were determined to stand up to injustice. Young people who were determined to make a difference.

I want to ask you to do two things as we await news on the DACA program and future immigration policy from the Trump administration.

One, you must take care of yourself. If you are feeling alone, anxious or depressed, then please reach out to a loved one. Difficult times lie ahead, so you must build up your support network starting today. However, should you need additional resources, please make use of the mental health hotline by dialing 1–800–273–8255.

Two, you must get to know people charged with holding Donald Trump accountable. These people have names and phone numbers, and it will be up to you to ensure that they understand that immigrant families are American families and that Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda goes against the values and morals of our country. If you don’t know who your Representatives or Senators are, then now it’s a time to get to know them. Find out their names and phone numbers by visiting http://bit.ly/thoseresponsible and contact them every single time injustice presents itself in your community.

The road ahead is filled with obstacles. There is no doubt about that. But I am confident that our communities will persevere because we know that we belong together in our home, the United States.

My hope is that you will take this time to reflect on what we have been able to achieve as a movement, and join the millions of advocates and allies who have pledged to fight on our behalf.

We can’t give into fear, not today, not tomorrow, not in the next four years. We will continue to be undocumented, we will be unafraid and we will work towards building a more inclusive and diverse nation — just as we always have.

As an immigrant and DACA beneficiary, you have my word that I will continue to fight for you and your family regardless of the odds.

All my best,

Juan Escalante

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Follow Juan Escalante @JuanSaaa.

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