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Alejandra’s story

Alejandra’s greatest fear is not getting her papers. She thinks about it constantly; every time she sees pictures of her friends away at college on Facebook, every time she researches a new career path that requires a social security number, and every time she reminds her mother to call their immigration lawyer.

To Alejandra, she should already be a senior in college, living away from home and gearing up for graduation.

But instead she lives with her family and babysits two kids, five to six days a week.

Born in Honduras, Alejandra came to the United States when she was 6 years old. She grew up in the Bronx, attended public schools, and graduated high school four years ago.

In school Alejandra never told anyone about her immigration status, fearing that she would cause unwanted attention to herself and possibly even be forced to return to her home country.

One day, an assistant principal confronted Alejandra, questioning why she, an honor roll student, had not applied for college.

At first Alejandra responded that she didn’t want to go to college. She knew her parents could not afford to pay for her tuition and that she was ineligible for financial aid.

But eventually she shared her dilemma and with the school and was given one option.alejandra3

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Refusing to get married, Alejandra applied to college regardless of her immigration status and was accepted.

She received a scholarship to pay for her first semester at a community college in Manhattan. But soon after the first semester, Alejandra dropped out because she could no longer afford to pay her tuition on her own.

During her first semester at college, Alejandra’s parents began the process to become legalized and have since become U.S. citizens, but Alejandra and her brother remain undocumented.

Alejandra remembers the day her parents received their papers.


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Alejandra’s mom has initiated a petition for her daughter’s citizenship.

But today Alejandra still waits for her paper work to come through.


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