“I’ve lived here my whole life.  I’m ready to leave.  I just…

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“I’ve lived here my whole life.  I’m ready to leave.  I just graduated college and I’d love to experience a new city.  But I’m stuck.  My dad is trying to become a citizen, and I need to stay in the city because I’m the one petitioning on his behalf.  We’ve been waiting for five years already.  We’ve spent so much money.  But it’s the least I can do for him.  I’ve seen where he lived in Mexico: tiny houses, dirt floors, no shoes.  He was the youngest of twelve.  His family couldn’t afford to educate him.  So he came here when he was seventeen and worked as a migrant worker in California.  He slept in train cars and ate food out of the trash.  Even now he works fourteen hours a day.  He comes home, we talk a bit, and he goes to sleep.  It’s been that way my entire life.  He’s turning fifty soon and he’d love to start his own business.  So I hope he gets his citizenship.  It’s a little dangerous because he’s on the radar now.  They have his fingerprints.  But he’s got a son that fought in Afghanistan.  And now he’s got a daughter that graduated from NYU, so I think he deserves to stay.”