Freedom for All: Undocumented in the United States

Freedom for All: Undocumented in the United States

(peaceful instrumental music) – [Sheridan] My name is Sheridan Aguirre and I am undocumented. And a DACA recipient. – [Yatta] My name is Yatta Kiazolu, and I’m a beneficiary of
Deferred Enforced Departure, also known as DED. – For 24 years. – For 18 years. – For 25 years when I
immigrated here at one year old. When I was a kid, my mom told
me that I was undocumented. She basically put it this way, she said that I was born in Mexico, and that I couldn’t tell anyone because we might get in trouble. When people would ask like, oh
talk to us about your family, I would never talk about my heritage, my nationality, nothing. Growing up, I really would tell people that I was from Fort
Worth and I almost started to believe it myself. – [Yatta] So when I came
to the United States at six years old, the plan was
that it would be temporary. My parents were relocating
back to Liberia, but because of the war, it made it impossible for us to return and we eventually became stuck. Having family here in
the United States was really a blessing at that time. And I loved coming to the States because I was the only
child and I had cousins here who were my age. I’m pretty sure I was
very excited to stay. – My parents wanted the
best for me and my brother. So we decided to come to United States for the American dream. My father had to leave everything. And he would talk about
how much he misses Korea from time to time. But he knows he can’t
ask for that life again, for sake of me and my brother. Sometimes I feel guilty,
thinking about that. And sometimes I feel like, maybe, was it better if I didn’t exist. For that, it was, it’s difficult. (soft instrumental music) – When I was a teenager,
some of the biggest things that I had to face was hiding
who I was from my peers. When I was 16, people would ask me, “Oh, why aren’t you applying for this?” “Why are you driving?” I would freeze up and I’d say, “My mom’s actually, she
doesn’t let me drive, “she doesn’t want me to work, “she wants me to stay in school. “She doesn’t want me to do any of that.” – I remember telling my mom
that I was a permanent resident and she was like, “No, you’re not.” And I remember telling her, “Yeah, I live here, permanently.” And she’s explaining to me
that’s not what that means. – My parents did not tell me until I was a senior in high school when I was trying to apply for colleges. And when they finally told me the truth, you’re undocumented so
you cannot do anything, it was very disheartening. – I didn’t have pride in myself, whether as a Latino or as an immigrant. I really wanted to fit in. So it took a really long time
for me to reclaim who I am and a lot of that happened
after the announcement of DACA, or Deferred Action for
Childhood Arrivals, in 2012. – [Christine] I graduated
high school in 2011, and by then DACA did not exist. And it was very difficult to find a place that would accept undocumented students. There wasn’t much financial aid support. And I felt like I did
not deserve the support. I struggled as a student
because I felt like, even if I get a degree,
will it matter at the end? – When I was graduating from
high school, there wasn’t a lot of awareness around what it
means to be undocumented. What that means in order
to access higher education. I found out that I couldn’t apply for federal financial aid or
I wouldn’t be eligible for in-state tuition. Eventually I was able to
pursue a graduate degree. But it took people fighting for me, it took institutions
making resources available that made that a possibility for me. – [Sheridan] With DACA, I could now work. I could get a driver’s license. I could travel across this country safely. But at the same time, it
made me feel really guilty because my mom was left out. So my mom had to work under the table. And with that came a
lot of workplace abuse, and sometimes that meant
being withheld pay, sometimes that meant mistreatment. She had to sacrifice all of that, sometimes her own dignity,
to be able to protect us. – I lived in a household with
working class African women who worked jobs that they
otherwise probably wouldn’t want to do, but they did that for us, to give us a future,
to give us the options that we deserved. – My mom is the person
who’s the main breadwinner of our family, she’s the one
who was taking care of us. And so it really hurt me to
see that she had no access to these things, that she
couldn’t live a regular life. And it was because of that gap in equality and equity and justice that
I felt the need to be able to speak up, to organize, so
that I could win policies that would protect people like my mom and the 11 million other
undocumented people across the country. – When Trump became the president, I was terrified. ‘Cause I felt like all
the protections I’d been receiving through DACA
were gonna disappear. The people on the border
are getting separated, their family’s getting separated, the children are being encaged. TPS and asylum seekers
are being under attack and lastly, a lot of South
Asian people are getting deported under the public eye. So you could say it got
a lot worse since Trump became the president. – I’ve definitely had
a sense of isolation, especially over the last couple of years. My identity as an immigrant has become probably the most salient
that it’s ever been. And while these concerns
definitely existed before the 2016 elections, I feel a lot more targeted in a way that
I didn’t feel before. – Even though we chant
undocumented, unafraid, but there is always like
gonna be a little bit of anxiety behind those chants. I would say Asian-American
immigrant community sometimes we kind of go under the radar because of how the
media have portrayed us. And I want to be clear
that we’re here to stay and we’re here to defend
DACA and we wanna be loud for citizenship for all. – In every designation
period, we don’t know whether it’ll be extended or not. Typically we don’t find out until a month or even several days
before the program ends whether we will be allowed to continue to stay in the country, and so we sort of go through the same sort of uncertainty yearly. The U.S. absolutely
feels like home for me. It’s where I’ve grown up, I’ve had a particular experience here and so it’s hard for me to feel like there’s any other place where I belong. – Home for me is here. Home for me is where my parents are. Home for me is where my
communities are, which is here. – I know this is my home, and
I’m working towards a home that is really going to respect me and respect other people
of color and immigrants. – I have not been to South
Korea since I was 10. So returning to Korea means I
would have to start all over and I honestly don’t
know where I would start. I don’t know anybody. – [Sheridan] No matter what
happens in our government, this is my home. And I have just as much
right as anyone else to be able to advocate
for my right to stay here and my right to thrive. – I do think that there
should be pathways for all. My idea about immigration is that this is an issue of human
rights and immigration is also, it’s about justice. – Every single deportation
is cruel, every single one. We deserve an immigration
system that is not intentionally designed to harm us, but instead is intentionally
designed to welcome us. To make us feel like we belong, and help us be our best selves
to help grow this country and grow each other. – I think my big hope is that we can live in a world without borders. – My validation as human
being, I just want that. And without feeling like I
need to prove anybody that I deserve to exist. – We’re humans, right? We deserve the pursuit of
joy, the pursuit of happiness. We’re a part of the
fabric of this country. Every single person, regardless
if they’re undocumented, if they were born here, deserves to be able to live with dignity. (soft instrumental music)

23 Comments

  1. I hope my business will be as big as Lush one day. I donate to local charities. But, to do something on this level is amazing.

  2. Our countries are made up of generations of immigrants, asylum seekers and more. Thank You Lush for bring this to the forefront and showing the hardships that people can face. I also buy Lush products and support the great things that you do and stand for.

  3. My great grandparents escaped a communist country and came to the USA. They became legal citizens and learned to speak, read and write English and they were proud of it. They never forced their culture or language on anyone (also the same with thousands of others who escaped their country and came to the USA) I think if illegal aliens really want to be in the USA they will become legal citizens and learn the language.

  4. I just bought the Mi Casa es Tu Casa soap and a Charity Pot! So glad it’s going to a good cause. ❤️

  5. Thank you so much for this, Lush! I absolutely loved this! Thank you for giving a voice to those who often feel voiceless. Their stories matter…their voices matter…their lives matter… Such a beautiful documentary with an important message.

  6. So you guys believe anyone, anywhere in the world should freely choose to go anywhere, without any checks or patrolling/quotas?

  7. Thank you Lush cosmetics for giving people a voice and being able to share it. This hits home because both my parents were immigrants and came to the US to pursue a better life. Makes me think of them and the struggles they might of had as two young immigrants in a new country. Grateful for these stories ❤️

  8. I have the privilege of being born in the US, because a few generations ago my family immigrated from Italy. I was born in Philadelphia and had the freedom to move 3,000 miles away to Seattle. The fact that being born somewhere else means people have no right to move is ridiculous to me. What good do borders serve in the world?

  9. Lush if I support everything you do for a better environment, now I'm convinced that you are also making a better world ❤❤❤ thank you for this👏👏 I too will continue buying Lush products

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