American Nightmare

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"Is there anyone else in the house?" they asked with a very serious face, their light colored eyes just popping out on us with not much expression on their face.

They were all men wearing dark clothing. "Everyone, sit on the couch!" they ordered. I was frightened and confused, not knowing what was going to happen.

My four sisters and I just sat there with tears in our eyes, stunned as my dad entered through our front door with his hands on his back, handcuffed, with two ICE officers behind him.

The men gruffly told us, "Your dad is being deported. We are taking him with us. You can give him a small bag, but quick."

Realizing that he would not see us for some time my dad rapidly gave us all the advice he could. "Ayudenle a su mama y portense bien, hechenle ganas a la escuela y pronto vamos a estar juntos otravez. Las quiero mucho." His eyes were getting watery as he told us to help out our mom and do well in school. He kissed our foreheads for the last time as they took him away, gone before my mom came back with the bag she had packed.


My dad was taken for a lack of papers. They didn't consider that he has a family and children to feed, no bad police record, just a hardworking man.

My parents came to the U.S. wanting to achieve in life and make money to help their family in Mexico. They took huge risks traveling for days through dangerous deserts with no water, risking their lives for something they believed would be better, not imagining how much trouble they were getting into.

Here, our family grew, adapted to the U.S. but kept our Latino roots alive by speaking Spanish and following our parents' traditions. We support each other to achieve our goals and live our days working hard and trying to fit in as best as we can, scared of unexpectedly being stopped by police and seeing our dreams being sent away.

We are simply hard working immigrants that come for the American Dream to succeed and overcome any obstacles in life as long as we are united.

With a Perspective, I'm Roxana Gonzalez.

Roxana Gonzalez is 16 and attends Life Academy for Health and Biosciences High School in the Fruitvale section of Oakland.