Monday, November 14, 2016

Undocumented Fil-Am business owner faces uncertainty under Trump

The election cycle is finally over, and reality show celebrity Donald Trump is now President. Instead of being joyful and expectant of what lies ahead, why am I feeling devastated and scared?
To be honest, I am still in shock two days after the election and really saddened by the turn of events. For a while there, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was winning some states, especially Florida, a must-win state, until Trump began bagging state after state after state. That’s when my mood changed from excitement to disbelief.
I have always loved this country. Since I was about 6 or 7 years old I have been vacationing in the United States twice a year spending summers and Christmases with my relatives.
I have seen this country during its good and the not-so-good years and how the recession has affected my own family’s finances. I love the resilience of this country.
Trump’s ascension to the highest office troubles me, an undocumented immigrant. What will happen to an immigrant like me who has been active in my community, paying my taxes, and taking care of my parents? Will I be deported? What about health care for my family, social security and Medicare for my parents?
During the campaign, Trump vowed to deport the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US Like many, I feel worried if not terrified. I have been raised believing that the US is my home. But now I am facing the possibility that my new president will send me home.
The morning after November 8 felt like I was coming off a bad dream. My stepdad, a white American, saw me, and asked, “Do you know who won?”
“Sorry, my dear” was all he could mumble. He felt numb, he said.
I heard people around me, our clients, store clerks, neighbors, asking what would happen to America now? Some were saying they are frightened, unsure of what is next. I saw on TV anti-Trump protesters in many parts of the country, shouting “Not my president!”
I wonder how the world views America now and what their perception is of our democratic institutions?
More 10 years ago, I left a good paying job in health care to care for my aging parents, help run our small family business and start a new life without being a burden to anyone. That’s good right? Unfortunately not to some Americans who cannot accept people like me. Despite that, I pay my taxes year after year and have the records to show; I have never violated any law.
Still, a strong sense of uncertainty engulfs me. Will I still be able to stay and take care of my parents and build a life in this country?
Like everyone else I can only hope for the best for this nation and safety for undocumented immigrants who are here helping the US economy grow. —The FilAm

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