Letter to a former best friend

Some thoughts from an undocumented student who is trying to balance commitment to the fight for immigrant rights, with life, friendships, and love. From an edited letter to a former best friend who is having a hard time understanding.

I’m at a point in my life where I am making a choice between a dream and reality. I can choose to continue school this semester and work with what I have to get through, or I can dedicate my time to organize and mobilize people, to encourage others and hope i wont have to worry about immigration in years to come.

You’ve been in my life for a long time now and I’ve considered you my friend and partner (in so many ways). You always gave me that strength, that feeling of comfort that I lacked before you. You made me strong and you made me happy. Whenever I felt like giving up, you were there, encouraging me, telling me that I can do anything I want. That I am my “worst critic” and my “biggest fan,” and that together we could “defeat them.”

I am writing you to let you know that I love you. That you still mean the world to me and that I’d still do anything for you. But that it kills me when you tell me that I am not committing myself to our friendship. That my involvement in the immigrant rights movement is selfish, and about popularity. That I need to spend more time with my friends.

I’m at a point in my life when I need my friends to understand that what I am doing requires me to make sacrifices, sacrifices that I do not expect anyone else to make for me. Things that I have to give up to put my heart and head into this.

I am tired and frustrated of being like this, of having to pretend that I am okay and ignoring that I am one mistake away from deportation, one mistake away from being separated from the people I love. Either one mistake, or just being at the wrong place at the wrong time. This is why I’m putting all my time into this. It has become a decision between a good life or an unknown future somewhere I don’t know.

I’m sorry that you think those things you told me. And I hope you understand that I’m not doing this selfishly.
But I am thinking about myself.

Best wishes.

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phoenix says:

resonates to my very core. thank you!

ireri says:

i’m sorry to hear that. I’ve had various reactions from friends, and while some where less supportive initially we kept the conversation going and i think we are learning from each other how to make our arguments and what is at stake for everyone, immigrants and non immigrants. Your friend will come around. Keep the lines of conversation open. (and in case your friend does not right away (which happens), there are plenty of us out in the world who would gladly be your friends)