Why I'm fighting for a clean DREAM Act #DREAMActNow

Maria is a BPNC youth leader and a member of Connecting Families, Safer Through Unity Program. On Saturday, December 2, Maria shared her story to Senator Dick Durbin. Learn more about our immigration work today.

Good morning, my name is Maria Marquez. ​​

I am a leader with BPNC. Today I will share with you a little bit of my personal story and why we can’t wait any more to pass a clean DREAM Act.

I was born in Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco, Mexico and lived in a little rancho called Tlacuitapa for the first two years of my life where I lived with my mom and my grandparents.

I arrived to the United States at the age of two with my mother and my uncle. My dad had come to the United States a year before so we arrived with him here in Chicago. We crossed the river, and I vividly remember my uncle carrying me on his shoulders so that I’d be able to cross. I remember my mom was a in front of us and I was just looking at her. I remember the water was really deep and dark but calm because there was no current and because the sun was shining.

We arrived in Chicago after a couple days of travel. I finally saw my dad after thinking that I didn’t have one. My parents decided to come to the United States because they had a child, me, who depended on them. They knew from their own experiences that it would be very difficult for me to succeed there, but there weren’t any opportunities available for me in Mexico.

All they wanted was for their child to have the opportunities they didn’t get. My parents wanted me to have the chance to go to school and live a happy and successful life.