Testimony before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law
The Ban On Muslims is a Ban on All Immigrants
My 20 Years as an Undocumented Immigrant
I blog about illegal immigration because it was my existence for thirteen years of my life. I came to the U.S. legally from Zambia and DR Congo with my mother at the age of four. When I was thirteen, my stepfather died and when I was fifteen my mother died. My life took a turn for the worse and for nearly thirteen years after that life seemed impossible. I went from being a relatively normal teenager to becoming an orphan, stateless and also illegal.
The emotional and psychological trauma that I experienced while in deportation proceedings was indescribable. I lived in utter fear, shame and torment. My reality was being placed in a detention facility indefinitely because the U.S., my native countries nor a third country would take me in. This was all due to circumstances beyond my control, my parents died. My only form of identification was my student identification card. Therefore, I couldn’t drive and because I was stateless it meant that I didn’t have a passport to travel anywhere outside of the United States. After 9/11, I felt like a fugitive because I was unable to travel on a plane, bus or train domestically to attend my immigration hearings.
There are truly good people on this earth and through a series of fortunate circumstances, a benefactor paid my way through boarding school. I put myself through college and then graduate school while being transparent about my status or lack thereof. My immigration nightmare fully ended in August 2012 when I became a U.S. citizen after being in the U.S. for twenty-seven years. Please join me on this journey as I share my experiences, paint an intimate portrait of other undocumented immigrants, and also share with you what has transpired in my life in the last few years.