Here’s what life is like when you’re undocumented…
At 16, you’re supposed to drive. You’re supposed to be able to get a job. You’re supposed to work toward college. But when you’re undocumented, all these things become impossible.
This young woman was rejected from every college she applied to because of her status – until finally she was accepted by one. Given this newfound opportunity, she slayed and graduated.
But it wasn’t just her graduating because when an immigrant graduates, or the child of an immigrant graduates, the entire family walks down that stage. It’s a victory for everyone. It’s reassurance that every sacrifice you and / or your parents made; leaving your country, your job, your life, being called all those names… All those moments were validated.
Here’s what her dad said weeks leading up to her graduation:
“Para mí, va a ser el premio mayor. Va a ser algo por lo cual yo trabajé. Mi esposa a mi lado siempre trabajando y va a ser la graduación de nosotros… Va a ser lo máximo para mí.”
Covid-19 has devastated families financially, especially Latinos. Latino households have experienced disproportionate levels of unemployment and health issues from Covid-19. California is helping undocumented people impacted by the virus.
California is going to help undocumented people struggling during the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic.
On Monday, the California legislature released a stimulus package to help Californians suffering during the pandemic. The “Major Components of Joint Economic Stimulus Plan” includes financially assisting undocumented people living in California. The plan further stipulates that the state would create a fund to assist those who will lose when the $600 unemployment benefits disappear and any other holes that might remain in the economic injuries of residents.
People are defending the use of tax dollars to help undocumented immigrants.
Undocumented people pay taxes. It is a narrative that anti-immigrant people push to further harm the undocumented community. Advocates have argued that the undocumented community should be protected during this pandemic as much as anyone else. This plan would likely do that.
“Our calls for prompt relief and a bit of human kindness have been heard and we hope soon not another family will go hungry or without essentials such as medication, bars of soap and other hygiene products, as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc in the Golden State,” Angelica Salas, executive director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, said in a statement.
The virus is still spreading in the U.S. with California being one of the worst-hit states.
The state set a record on July 29 with 12,904 new Covid cases and 192 deaths. The state has been criticized for rushing its reopening strategy that led to a visible explosion of cases in mid-June. That is when California restrictions were lifted before meeting the health guideline standards for a safe reopening.
Latinos are the most impacted community. More Latino households have seen illness and sudden joblessness across the U.S. The federal government has left out undocumented people, who pay taxes, from assistance using tax dollars. California might be the first state to rectify that.
During the COVID-19 lockdowns, people have spent a lot of time in their kitchens cooking food to bring them comfort. One unique thing about the self-isolation is that people are having to figure out how to make things stretch or substitute some of your usual ingredients. United We Dream wants to make sure they can do something good with all of the recipes we have created.
United We Dream wants to use your recipes to create some good.
According to an Instagram post, United We Dream is putting together an undocumented cookbook. In the spirit of sharing recipes and cultural moments, United We Dream is asking for people to submit their recipes.
“At United We Dream we believe in the power of art and culture to change hearts and minds and June is the perfect time to tap into our cultural creativity,” reads the United We Dream website. “On Immigrant Heritage Month, we want to celebrate our community through a joyous art form that every household does: cooking!”
The money is going to be used to help the undocumented and immigrant communities.
According to Remezcla, 100 percent of profits from the book will go to the organization’s National UndocuFunds. United We Dream launched the National UndocuFund to deliver financial assistance to undocumented people struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is likely that the fund will need to do some extra lifting to help communities recovering from recent looting and rioting that has rocked the U.S. in recent days.
“We know that nothing brings people together quite like food,” reads the United We Dream website. “The dishes that immigrants create, no matter how simple or complex, allow people to experience cultures other than one’s own and all the joys and pleasures that come with it.”
The cookbook is already getting people excited.
There is something to be said about people getting creative in the kitchen during this pandemic. Outings are limited because we are all staying home to slow the spread. There are also people who are still not at work. That is why we have had to get creative to make our food last.
“Today, times are tough because of COVID-19, but many working-class and poor households are embracing their creativity to create meals that both sustain their households and bring a moment of peace and comfort,” reads the United We Dream website. “We want to create a cookbook that reflects our diverse community and inspires memories of joy, comfort and togetherness!”
United We Dream understands the power of food.
Food is a unifier. Everyone eats and food is one way to connect with your culture. It is also a wonderful way to share your culture with other people. Sharing your food and culture with people is a special way to let your friends into your life.
The organization is still taking recipe suggestions. If you want a chance to give more people a look into who you are and your culture through food, click here to share a recipe.