Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Golden Age of being Undocumented

Photo by Aurelio Jose Barrera - Photographer
“The days of hiding and switching names have long been over.” This is my reply to a friend who I helped out with an interview on community cultural wealth when they asked whether they should put my real name down or a pseudo name. After 2010, as Jose Antonia Vargas succinctly put it in his Time Magazine article, the Golden Age of being Undocumented fell upon us, but only for those within the dreamer/immigrant rights movement.

For me to say that we’ve been in a golden age the last three years without acknowledging the million plus people that have been deported, well it would be rather fucked up I should say. However, if you’ve been in the movement, the getting has been good. Folks moved into jobs at non-profits, working for officials, going to their plan B and getting married etc. etc.

A seminal transition of leadership within the movement toking place. Last time I saw this happen was in 2007, when first generation dreamers finished college and the real world beckoned. They suddenly found themselves outside their college organizing spaces, thus they created other spaces in which being in college wasn’t the only way one could participate. (A major key point here in So Cal that lead to the current political atmosphere that we have here AKA drama).

Sunday, July 28, 2013


I’m sorry. I wasn’t with you in the end like I thought I would be in the beginning. You remember that? You were born on a Monday with all your brothers and sisters. I remember seeing all of ya’ll in the house, at your mothers teet. I even remember when I was presented with you. And while I don’t remember taking you home on the day you were old enough, I remember everything else.

I remember how I asked my dad if it was ok to have a dog again. Of course when they saw you, who could have said no to you? Then I remember you becoming my responsibility because he changed his mind all of a sudden. I didn’t want to take you back. I wanted to do everything right by and I did. You saved my life back then Harley. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Born Day Reflections at 29

As cliché and unoriginal as they are, I enjoy these born day post. It’s typical to reflect at this point in time because it’s one of those life events in which an emphasis is placed on the passage of it, much like new years. Thoughts of what has gone on since this day was last acknowledged flood my mind, body and soul.

If I’m to look back on the year that I am going to be celebrating on July 22, I can look back with no regrets. Getting older was something I never gave thought to back in the day. My concerns were on just trying to make it to the next. But alas, this has been a blessed year. I’ve had the privilege of sharing it with beautiful friends who’ve I’ve shared a laugh, meal and beer with.

It’s through them that not only I’m still here, but flourishing. With DACA kicking in, getting my own apartment, having stability… I can’t complain about anything. I dated here and there, but past lessons have helped me keep clear of unhealthy relationships that I would have other wise found myself involved in. Shit, pondering about it just know… this is the most selfish I’ve been. Ever.

Monday, July 08, 2013


I had a four-day weekend thanks to the 4th of July holiday. No, I didn’t celebrate America’s birth, but I did take advantage of the free time that was given to me. I spent every single day drunk, waking up in the middle of the afternoon, and kicking it with the homies. Life is good to me right now.

Being dacamented sure is hard. NOT. Me having a good time has nothing to do with my immigration status, ever. More than anything, ever since I did receive my work permit, things have been easier in the sense of administrative changes. Paper work is no longer a huge round around, sure. And I no longer have to carry my passport when going to bars. Shit, DACA hasn’t changed my life.

But stability is something that has dramatically changed my life on levels a legal status in the US never could. Good lord baby Jeezus, 7 lbs 8 ounces, stability has eluded my grasp for as long as I can remember. Whether it was when I lived with my family or when I set out on my own, stability is a rare, almost mythical status that is the foundation in which everything else hinges on.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Growing Movement Pains

Over the years, I’ve met folks in the social justice movement who are complete tools and those who are entirely genuine and altruistic  In the beginning of it all for me, there was a simple notion that lead to me being politically involved, to help others the way I wasn’t. You see, by the time I was in high school, I had no motivation to do anything with the opportunities I had. I chose to focus more on what I couldn't do than what I could do.

My initial motivation for wanting to be part of a social justice movement was to help others with information. To share it with those that wanted and needed it. I lost track of how many workshops I’ve done in which I’ve explained how laws work in California to help undocumented high school and college students pay in-state tuition, where to look for private scholarships, look for resources and connecting with other student groups.

Monday, July 01, 2013

My Owm Meme

For anyone who knows me, ya'll know I love me some meme's. Thus, it was only a matter of time before I made the leap and become a meme myself. I give you, Bad Advice Erick. Of course it's nothing like the real thing. I don't expect it to go viral or anything of the sort, but it's something more for fun than anything. But that shouldn't stop ya'll from using it yourselves. Download the thing and share with me what ya'll come up with. Ya'll can tweet me pics: @ElRandomHero