We had to decide whether we were going north or south to get into California. My friend decided it was best to go south, to avoid a big snowstorm up north. But south would take us through Arizona. I really, really didn't want to go through Arizona.
I got more and more nervous. I felt paralyzed. My friend kept asking me what my problem was. Finally, I told him: I'm undocumented. I came to the United States when I was three with my family. And Arizona had just passed a law that gave police officers the authority to check peoples' immigration status. If we got stopped in Arizona, I could be detained and deported.
My friend is white. He comes from a really privileged, upper-class background. He attended a private high school, then Santa Clara University, with me. I went on scholarship. Politically, he sees things a little differently than I do. We've had our disagreements.
He was quiet for a while.
Then, he barraged me with questions. I answered the best that I could.