I received a call last week, from a good friend… he told me he was granted residency.
I met Juan earlier on in the school year. The reason I came across Juan was because he had a story to share, and being the Journalist that I am, I was ready to listen. I have met up with him more than once since then. Over a cup of coffee, we’ve discussed “life”. Sharing our current and future projects, he speaks, and I listen. Our meetings have been known to be quite lengthy, three hours at the minimum.
Juan is not your average twenty-six year old. He might come off as shy and reserved at first, but that is far from what he is.
A few weeks back, he let me know of the slim possibility that he and his family might be granted residency. We discussed the possibilities, what steps he must take, he explained how the process even worked. Next time I talked to Juan, I was congratulating him for his acceptance into Law School.
Just last week, I received a phone call.
“Joanna, I am going to have to reschedule…I am on my way to meet with my attorney”
A few hours later, I received this image.
I don’t know what it must feel like to live in a country your entire life (or most of your life), and to constantly come across the words, “you don’t belong”. To live in fear, not knowing where you will be tomorrow or the next day. From the time that I have known Juan, I’ve learned of his goals, fears, and all about his family. Never have I questioned his belonging in this country, never have I thought of him as a “criminal” or as anything less. In my eyes, he is a Mexican-American. He is an ambitious and determined student who enjoys running. At one point, Juan was receiving titles and recognition for his speed. Everyone at California State University Northridge knows him as the student senator. In May, he will be receiving his Bachelors in Political Science, being the first in his family to receive a college degree. Juan has been accepted into Law school, and I am certain that wherever he goes, his voice will be heard.
I invite you to read, My 22 Year journey to U.S. Lawful Permanent Residency, an article written by Juan Quevedo himself.
I hope his words inspire you, as they have inspired me.