One thing that comes with a life that forces an individual into the shadows is uncertainty. Not knowing when you will see the family you left back home. Lying awake wondering whether or not you can find employment. It affects those that left a life behind to better themselves and help their families.

I have an uncle that had been granted a green card in 2000. His brother applied for both him and his wife, my aunt. Two weeks ago they received their green card in the mail. That's thirteen years without seeing the two children they left behind in Ecuador. Now twenty-six and twenty-two, they can no longer be called children, but have become adults, leaving their parents to see their growth through a computer screen. This summer they finally have the chance to see their parents without the help of Skype.

For the whole process to take this long is an embarrassing way to implement this broken immigration system people’s lives. It goes beyond legislation and stems from xenophobia and a ‘they took our jobs’ mentality. If someone doesn’t commit any crimes, works hard, pays taxes (which undocumented immigrants do), conforms to the social mores of a society, how can they be viewed as harmful members of this great nation. The United States doesn’t have a very socially lenient welfare or healthcare policy that they need to protect. 

It just confuses me that because of the physical land you happen to be born on you are somehow entitled to something that others get stripped from. Reading articles and skimming scathing comments from anti-immigrant commenter’s condemning undocumented students and workers I feel like there is a sort of ‘they deserve it’ kind of attitude. A feeling directed towards those trying to pursue the elusive American dream. We forget that we are all human beings. Just because some are from Venezuela, China, or whichever country they left in hopes of finding solace in the land of the free doesn’t mean an oppressive government should greet them. ~ Paul Yumbla


With the immigration reform bill moving on to the House of Representatives, public officials now take on the task of deciding what route to take on this controversial issue. Not many can disagree with the fact that something must be done to fix America's broken immigration system. After moving through the Senate, the House GOP must now deal with immigration reform in a way that reaches out to Latino, Hispanic and immigrant voters as well as attempting to satisfy their (predominantly Anglo) base. Where the situation becomes tricky is in determining a viable reform that removes the hardship and pain embedded in a life of not having documentation. ~Paul Yumbla


HVCC welcomes Paul Yumbla to our blog. Paul is a summer intern for HVCC and will be sharing some of his reflections on our website. ~Betsy Palmieri

Being conscious of the sacrifices my immigrant parents have made adds weight to the pressure to not only push forward but to do so in a manner that enriches the lives of those we love. I am writing this blog post in hopes that other 'dreamers' step out from the shadows and call attention to the unfair circumstances many have been put in. I am a twenty year old rising senior at the University of Connecticut studying English and Digital Arts. I am a writer, a DREAM act recipient, and an intern at Hudson Valley Community Coalition. ~ Paul Yumbla