things that matter

While Homesickness During College Is Hard Enough As It Is, This Latino Student Explains Why It’s Been Even More Difficult For Him

Shortened preview of Ale’s Graduation from Davis along with his family for being able to join him after not being able to see them for a number of years. Thanks Jo and Jon for helping along with this!

#undocumentedunafraid #undocumedia #fuckyourborders #undocugrad

Posted by Luis VC on Sunday, June 25, 2017

After dealing with homesickness for three years, this university student was finally able to reunite with his family and the tears were endless.

At 14 years old, Alejandro Espinoza made the decision to move to the United States with his aunt and uncle to learn English and attend high school. Coming to the U.S. to pursue an education meant leaving behind his parents and two younger brothers in Guanajuato, Mexico. Even though Alejandro’s family was able to visit him in the U.S. with tourist visas, their financial situation didn’t allow for this to happen frequently. Often times, Alejandro went months and sometimes years without seeing his family.

Once Alejandro completed high school and had the opportunity to attend a university, his homesickness only got worse.

While homesickness during college is hard enough, Alejandro explains that for him it was even more difficult because he knew his family wasn’t just a car or plane ride away.

CREDIT: JOSE VASQUEZ / JOHANA MENDOZA / JONATHAN MARTINEZ / ALEJANDRO ESPINOZA

“Other people would say, ‘Oh I miss my mom, I miss my dad,’ and I missed my mom too, but it wasn’t like I could just go home and see her.

It was especially difficult when my little brothers would post pictures on social media of my family. It sucks being absent from those pictures. And then you start to realize, ‘oh shit, mi mamá ya se ve mas mayor, or mi papá ya tiene más canas,’ and it sucks.”

Even though the original plan was to go back home to his family after completing high school, college then became an opportunity Alejandro could not miss. However, this opportunity ended up costing him the relationship he once had with his brothers.

CREDIT: JOSE VASQUEZ / JOHANA MENDOZA / JONATHAN MARTINEZ / ALEJANDRO ESPINOZA

“My brother is now 16 years old, that’s how old I was when I came to the U.S. I left them when they were six and three years old and the physical change has really thrown me off.

Nothing has changed, they’re still my younger brothers and I’m still the older brother. We’ve just been absent from each other’s lives for so long that we don’t know much about each other outside of that younger brother/older brother role.”

Since Alejandro made the decision to pursue his education in the U.S., he’s carried an overwhelming amount of guilt, feeling responsible for tearing his family apart.

CREDIT: JOSE VASQUEZ / JOHANA MENDOZA / JONATHAN MARTINEZ / ALEJANDRO ESPINOZA

“When I tell you about missing their birthdays, or missing Mother’s Day, just missing anything about their life, I don’t see it as, ‘Oh well, I missed it.’ I feel like, ‘Fuck, this is your fault because you decided to stay. It’s your fault that your brothers don’t have an older brother. It’s your fault that you can’t see your mom on Mother’s Day.’

I have always blamed it on me.”

But when Alejandro saw his family arrive at the airport and was able to hug them, it was as if all of that guilt had been lifted off his shoulders.

CREDIT: JOSE VASQUEZ / JOHANA MENDOZA / JONATHAN MARTINEZ / ALEJANDRO ESPINOZA

“I was really nervous going through the airport, and through the drive to the airport.

When I saw them my body just started crying on it’s own. I didn’t think about anything. When I hugged my brother, in that moment, after crying for like 15 minutes with my brothers and parents, coming back, my body felt so relieved.

It was until that moment that I was able to get rid of that guilt, and be like, ‘They’re here now, and they’re here because they want to see what I have done.'”

However Alejandro explains that that immense guilt wouldn’t exist in the first place if “there wasn’t a border.”

CREDIT: JOSE VASQUEZ / JOHANA MENDOZA / JONATHAN MARTINEZ / ALEJANDRO ESPINOZA

“I wouldn’t have to make this decision…It wouldn’t be so hard if there wasn’t a border. Because then I could have access to my family any time I wanted.

My goals are separated from my family.

If I pursue my goals here, then I have to be away from my family. And if I stay with my family, then I have to leave my goals and dreams that I have here.”

Alejandro opens up more about this internal battle in his poem “Por lxs que están aquí, pero no lxs pueden ver” which he read during commencement.

CREDIT: ALEJANDRO ESPINOZA

Little by little, whether it is through his poetry, documented videos, or any form of art at all, Alejandro wishes to touch on this subject that harms not just himself, but students all across the U.S.

“Once people see that someone is going through similar circumstances, they don’t feel alone. The reason I do art, why I share my art, is because I always see people at the end of the video or poetry reading who are like, ‘Fuck, I thought I was alone.’”

Although Alejandro was fortunate enough to have his family present for his college graduation, they are now gone and there’s no certainty about when he will get to see them again. All of the pain, guilt, anxiety and depression that he feels because of this separation is something he will continue to highlight through his art.


To help Alejandro with his tuition as he moves on to pursue his Masters degree, donate through this link here.


READ: A Teacher Thought She Was Funny Handing Out Racist Awards To Students But No One Is Smiling Now


Show your support for Alejandro by hitting the share button below.

Here's President Trump's Super Defensive Arizona Speech In A Nutshell

Things That Matter

Here’s President Trump’s Super Defensive Arizona Speech In A Nutshell

YouTube/TRUMP TV NETWORK

Last night, President Donald Trump arrived in Phoenix, Arizona, to give a speech at an event that amounted to a political rally. The previous night, he spoke about his strategy in Afghanistan (although many people did not tune in). He did not address any of the controversies looming over his presidency.

Before we get into what Trump said in Phoenix, here’s some background:

  1. This would be the first time Trump would speak since the backlash over his Charlottesville comments. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton even wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post urging Trump not to come to Arizona, saying it was too soon after Charlottesville and tensions had not eased. Republican Arizona Governor Doug Ducey did not attend Trump’s rally.
  2. Which brings us to this second point: Several people in Trump’s GOP party have reportedly turned on Trump. They’re saying he’s not fit to be president.
  3. Many were also wondering if Trump would pardon former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was found guilty for criminal contempt for “defying a judge’s court order to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants” on July 31.

With Charlottesville and the recent resignations of senior staff, it appears the rally in Phoenix was Trump’s way to get encouragement from his supporters.

As The Washington Post states: “When he finds himself under attack or slipping in popularity, he often holds a rally in a place like this: a diverse blue city that’s home to liberal protesters but surrounded by red suburbs and rural towns filled with Trump supporters who will turn out in droves.”

So, what did Trump say in Phoenix? The president first went on an insane rant against the media.

“…But the very dishonest media, those people right up there with all the cameras,” Trump said pointing at the cameras in front of him, which garnered boos from the audience. “I mean, truly dishonest people in the media and the fake media, they make up stories. They have no sources in many cases. They say ‘a source says’ — there is no such thing. But they don’t report the facts. Just like they don’t want to report that I spoke out forcefully against hatred, bigotry and violence and strongly condemned the neo-Nazis, the White Supremacists, and the KKK.”

Then Trump began to talk about Charlottesville. Not about what happened there, but about his own statements.

Trump pulled out a paper and proceed to read out his initial statement about Charlottesville. But the interesting thing about it is that he never said the words that caused him so much backlash: .

Trump talked about his social media habits and claimed he doesn’t go on “Twitter storms.”

If I don’t have social media, I probably would not be standing,” Trump said. “And do you ever notice, when I go on and I’ll put, like, out a tweet or a couple of tweets, ‘He’s in a Twitter-storm again!’ I — I don’t do Twitter-storms. You know, you’ll put out a little tweet: ‘I’m going to be with the veterans today.’ They’ll say, ‘Donald Trump is in a Twitter-storm.’ These are sick people.

Trump hinted that he will pardon Arpaio, despite his press secretary saying otherwise.

But Sheriff Joe can feel good,” Trump said. “The people of Arizona know the deadly and heartbreaking consequences of illegal immigration, the lost lives, the drugs, the gangs, the cartels, the crisis of smuggling and trafficking.”

When talking about immigration, Trump went back to MS-13, again.

Trump, described again, a fictitious tale of how MS-13 gang members prey and kill their victims.

You’ve seen it,” Trump said. “You’ve lived it, and you elected me to put a stop to it. And we are doing a phenomenal job of putting a stop to it. That I can tell you.”

Trump also took a time out to say that he’s in good shape.

When speaking about being in Yuma, Arizona with ICE, Trump mentioned (several times) about the extreme heat in the area. But noted that he could handle it because he’s in a shape.

This wasn’t an off-the-cuff comment, but a straight jab at many political pundits that say Trump isn’t physicially fit to be president.

Before ending his speech, Trump said that one way or another, the U.S.-Mexico border wall would be built.

“Now the obstructionist Democrats would like us not to do it,” Trump said. “But believe me, if we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall.”

Trump went on to talk about possibly ending NAFTA, how it was good for him to get out of the Paris Agreement, and about beautiful clean coal.

One of the weirdest moments from his speech was this Trump supporter who was plugging a conspiracy website.

Trump also mentioned that the group of protesters outside the rally was very small, but his crowd wasn’t exactly massive:

This is how CNN’s Don Lemon described Trump’s speech:

READ: President Trump Is Touring Around The World And Social Media Is Eating It All Up

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!

Paid Promoted Stories