In Tam's testimony in front of the the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration,Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law (try to say that five times fast), she says,
"Graduation for many of my friends isn’t a rite of passage to becoming a responsible adult. Rather, it is the last phase in which they can feel a sense of belonging as an American."
Her words ring true for me and many older undocumented students- those who despite all the difficulties of going to a University as an undocumented student, have graduated with a college degree. While in college it was easier to 'pretend' you were just like all your American citizen classmates. It was easy to deflect the questions of not having a job (don't have the time with heavy class schedule) or not driving (with expenses of college, don't have the money for car and gas).
I don't think anyone who isn't a DREAMER or doesn't personally know a DREAMER can understand the devastation we felt when DREAM Act failed the cloture vote. I knew before watching the vote on C-SPAN that I'd cry for a week, either in happiness or sadness; unfortunately it was the latter. It is such a helpless feeling knowing a group of Senators have control of your life here in the United States. Then there is the fear (which is always with you, even if just in the back of your mind) of being deported any day back to country you don't speak the language of and don't remember.
Also for the first time, I had an inkling of what it must have felt like for the Jews and all the other groups the Nazis rounded up. Though this isn't as dire a situation, we aren't being sent to our death, I can relate to the helplessness they must have felt and to the hope that they clung onto that someone would step up to rectify the situation.
DREAM Act will pass some day, I am sure of that, but so many undocumented students, can no longer wait, like Marie Gonzalez. Marie's stay of deportation is up this spring.