Getting through college, earning your degree, and graduating is not an easy process – especially when you’re a first-generation college student. But despite the stress and sleepless nights, reaching the finish line is the best feeling in the world because you know you’ll be able to share in the glory with your friends and family.
Or at least that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
For one college student, things didn’t work out that way and his story is now going viral.
In the Twitter video, a young graduate gets emotional after hearing the voice of his recently deported papi in a teddy bear.
The video has already been viewed more than 200,000 times and received hundreds of comments.
According to the video, his parents were recently deported and his sister bought him a teddy bear that had a recording of his father’s voice.
The father goes on to tell his son how proud he is of his son’s accomplishments and omg we can’t handle all the emotion.
I’m not crying, you’re crying!
For real though, like we are all crying.
Many on Twitter took this as a chance to remind everyone you never know how much time you have with your family.
So make sure to treat every moment with them like it could be your last.
And others wanted to give a shout out to the young boy who, despite the trauma and stress of the situation, is still making his dreams come true.
Like seriously, the boy loses his parents to deportation. Imagine the trauma and sadness he must be experiencing. Yet somehow he’s found the strength to not give up on his dreams.
En serio…this kid is making us all so proud.
Keep doing what you’re doing, you’re going to make your parents even more proud.
The compassionate sister also got loads of shout outs from a truly awe-inspired Twitter.
For facing such a traumatic situation herself, props to her for trying to bring some light and joy into her brother’s life on this very special day.
Some Dads on Twitter spoke up and couldn’t imagine having had this happen to them or their children.
Sure, it’s not the America we’re told about or taught about in class but it’s the America that we are living in and this is happening to thousands of people in our community.
The #KeepFamiliesTogether was invoked dozens of times in comments begging for the recent graduate to be reunited with his family.
The Trump administration’s cruel and inhumane treatment of children and families has been a rallying cry for activists and community leaders to stand up and demand justice for families who have been separated.
And some on Twitter wanted to make sure that no matter how alone he feels without his parents, he has an entire new set of allies in his corner.
As a recent graduate, you work so hard and always hope to be able to share that special moment with your closest friends and family – especially your papas who helped make it happen with their love and encouragement.
Some on Twitter pointed out that the video is actually from last year when the boy in the video lost his father in a car accident and his mother gave him the teddy bear. Truly heartbreaking.
As our country protests what is happening on the southern border–children in cages without enough food, water or even a bed to sleep on, separated from their family–fear of ICE reaches nationwide. In a Vermont town, undocumented immigrants and allies rallied outside Burlington Church on July 2nd, demanding an end to those very child internment camps. While showing solidarity for migrants at the border, they took the opportunity to speak up for the undocumented members of their community recently arrested while shopping at Walmart.
Three Vermont dairy workers were arrested within a single month. All arrests were made while grocery shopping at Walmart.
Undocumented organizer, Zully Palacios carried a sign with all three of their faces.
Credit: @farmworkerjustice / Twitter
Palacios herself is risking her status by speaking out, and still, she is a spokesperson for Migrant Justice. She told Vermont’s Seven Days, “As we read about what’s happening on the southern border, we must not forget what’s happening here, on the northern border.”
Federal data proves that ICE arrests have escalated under Trump’s administration.
Credit: icegov / Instagram
“These three members of our community were going about their lives, fulfilling their daily needs, shopping for food, sending money to their families in Mexico,” she told the outlet. “For that, they were detained and now find themselves behind bars.”
Ismael Mendez-Lopez, Mario Diaz-Aguilar, and Ubertoni Aguilar-Montero were stopped in the parking lot.
Credit: @TheBaxterBean / Twitter
The three went to Walmart both to buy groceries and to wire money to their families back in Mexico. Before they did that, a U.S. Border Patrol agent in an unmarked car stopped them in the parking lot. They spoke briefly and went on their way. The agent followed them. After they finished shopping at Walmart, they were arrested for not having paperwork on them.
They’re currently being held in a New Hampshire county jail pending ICE deportation proceedings.
Credit: @Articleableinfo / Twitter
A spokesperson for Border Patrol confirmed that they were arrested “based on the information from a concerned citizen.” This was the same reason for seven undocumented farmworker arrests outside that same Walmart Supercenter since February 2018. Matt Cameron, an immigration attorney, believes that these “concerned citizens” are actually informants.
Migrant workers in Vermont are struggling to feed themselves for fear of arrest.
Credit: walmart / Instagram
A newly published research study shows that each ICE raid or arrest creates an environment of fear that tangibly affects the rest of the roughly 1,500 migrant farmworkers in Vermont. They’re afraid that every trip to go get groceries might be one they never come home from.
All it takes is one racist shopper calling ICE because they saw a brown person.
Credit: icegov / Instagram
Just like how all it took was one customer complaint to report to Dunkin’ Donuts that they suspect undocumented workers. Now, Dunkin’ is suing its own franchise owners in a massive company crackdown on hiring undocumented workers.
Trump has confirmed that ICE raids will result in thousands of arrests Sunday.
Credit: realdonaldtrump / Instagram
Roberto Suro, a public policy professor at the University of Southern California suspects that, while Sunday will deport .2 percent of those with deportation orders, the true attack is “purely psychological.” He told the Los Angeles Times, “This is yet one more example of how the Trump administration is trying to use fear as an instrument of immigration control. It generates a lot of fear and anxiety but not a lot of control. This has nothing to do with actual enforcement.”
The ICE raids are designed to cause fear for immigrants and to appease Trump’s right-wing base.
Credit: realdonaldtrump / Instagram
After news surfaced that a raid was on its way, Trump revealed to reporters on Friday that it would be a “major operation.” “One audience is supposed to feel like something is happening,” Suro said, “and the other is supposed to be scared to death.”
Since then, immigrants across the country have called out of work, further destabilizing the community.
Credit: @CosechaMovement / Twitter
Activist tip hotlines have received an influx of calls, and an advocacy group in New York has already submitted a preemptive lawsuit. The more fear he creates, the more satisfied his base will be after his failure to deliver “The Wall.”
The current crackdown by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) on individuals who live in the United States as undocumented migrants has generated concern throughout the world. Stories of broken families and shattered hearts constantly appear on the media, and thousands of hard-working migrants tremble every time the president tweets a threat announcing a further crackdown. Some celebrities have been able to voice their concerns and share their stories of family and community separation. But let’s not forget that not everyone is afforded a voice, and that lives are being torn apart every single day!
These are a few of the celebs who have been affected by immigration policies and who have spoken out against the separation of family and friends in a country that was founded on the principle of having open arms for new, hard-working arrivals.
Diane Guerrero (actress, Orange is the New Black), whose parents were taken by ICE when she was a teenager
Credit: Instagram. @dianexguerrero
The actress was born in the United States from Colombian parents. When she was only 14 in 2001, a high school freshman, her parents were taken by ICE and deported back to South America due to their undocumented status. Guerrero told The Washington Post reflecting on her own experience as a teenager and what younger kids must be going through: “I remember my cries, and it’s nothing like what a 2-year-old must feel. It’s terrifying. I relied on friends and the kindness of strangers. I can only imagine how much harder it would be for children to have to rely on [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] agents and prison guards for comfort.”
Guerrero narrated her experiences in the book My Family Divided.
She also told Vogue: “We need to protect our children. There are real people behind these issues: families, children’s lives at stake. I was a casualty of it. Me staying behind, living the way I did, a lot of kids go through this. We need comprehensive immigration reform so that we’re not creating this cycle of poverty and depression and everything that comes with separating a family.” What a story, and what an incredibly strong woman.
Cardi B, who dealt with the deportation of a dear friend.
Credit: Instagram. @iamcardib
Cardi B is famous for being outspoken and never, ever holding back (that is why we love her!). On February 4, 2019, she came in defense of her friend, British rapper 21 Savage, a British citizen who was taken by ICE because he allegedly overstayed his visa. Cardi B wrote: ““Now let me get ghetto ….and for ya d*** breath mother****** talking bout ‘sO hE nOt FrOm AtLaNta’ he grew up there,” she wrote. “His kids and family live there and BLEW UP there with the support of the community he was raised in. Thank you @21savage for being really good friend to me and @offsetyrn and always coming thru when we need you (sic).” Those who defended the rapper claim that the detention had a racial bias: perhaps his real name, Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, had something to do with it?
Real Housewives star Teresa Giudice, whose husband was never a U.S. citizen.
Credit: Instagram. @teresaguidice
Giudice’s husband Joe is due to be deported to Italy after being released from prison in 2018. As it happens, Joe was not aware that he was never a United States citizen, as he migrated with his parents when he was an infant. A statement released by the authorities read: “As standard practice, ICE, through its Criminal Alien Program (CAP) works with the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to identify foreign-born nationals who are amenable to removal”.
We can only think of all the Latino families that are in the same boat. In the end, it is all about family. As E! News reported at the time, a source informed them that: “Teresa and Joe have no current plan in place for what to do next in their marriage, even though she is committed to finding a way to make this situation work for her family”. Joe remains in ICE custody as the legal proceedings continue.
Stories like these break our hearts, but some celebrities are using their migratory status to raise awareness!
The Cuban singer shared how at just six years old, she left her hometown of Havana with her mother on a trip she thought would take her to Disney World. From Mexico, the singer traveled to the United States through Texas where she left on a 36-hour bus ride to Miami. Together, Cabello and her mother started off a backpack that held onto their possessions and $500. “Her goal was always to end up in the United States,” Cabello told the magazine in her retelling of the story. “When she got pregnant with me, she wanted me to be in a place where there was no ceiling to whatever I wanted to do.”
Camila Cabello’s story concerns how much her parents were willing to give up for her in order to ensure she had the best life possible.
While Cabello’s mother had been an architect in Cuba she worked in the U.S. at a Marshalls. To ensure Cabello could attend a public school of the highest quality her mother used a fake address associated with an affluent neighborhood. A year later, Cabello’s father, who is from Mexico, swam the Rio Grande to join his family. To help his family make ends meet her father washed cars at a mall. In 2016, he finally received his green card.
César Millán has also spoken up about living in fear of deportation.
Credit: Instagram. @cesarsway
The most famous dog trainer of them all, Mexican (and now an American citizen) César Millán arrived to the United States as an undocumented worker. He was just 21 and had $100 dollars with him when he crossed the border. His story is a true manifestation of the American Dream and evidences the hard-working nature of many migrants. He wrote in his book “Cesar’s Way”: “I am not ashamed to say it: I came to the United States illegally, for the poor and working class of Mexico, there is no other way to come to America except illegally. It’s impossible”. He is now a United States citizen and has generated hundreds of jobs.
Bambadjan Bamba, the beloved “Black Panther” is a Dreamer.
Credit: Instagram. @bambathegreat
Bambadjan Bamba is a 35-year-old actor who “came out” as a Dreamer in 2017 after the Trump administration threatened to end the program. He was just ten when he arrived in the United States with his parents, feeling a precarious situation in his native country of Ivory Coast.
He was one of the first and few Hollywood actors to reveal his DACA status. He told Variety: “I’m going public first and foremost because I’m sick and tired of living in fear and hiding about this issue. I’ve kind of been in this status for 25 years of my life. I remember when the administration decided to cancel DACA — that was the last straw for me because not only am I married, but I have a daughter now. I didn’t feel like I could still sit back and keep hitting the snooze button.”
Salma Hayek has said that she was also undocumented when she started out in Hollywood
Credit: Instagram. @salmahayek
Our beloved Salmita moved to Los Angeles in 1991 as a student, hoping to become an actress. She has admitted that her visa expired and was in the country illegally, a fact that has been confirmed by her publicist. The truth is that Salma is one of the most representative Mexican voices in the United States, and she often voices her support for immigration reform.
She told World Entertainment News Network about her early days working in Hollywood saying “We are productive for society in many ways. The movies that I’ve worked in have amounted to almost one billion dollars. This is good for this economy. We contribute and it’s a lot of money that I had a part in”.
She also defended the decision of farm workers and other types of laborers to migrate north: “If they could work legally, then they would pay the taxes that benefit America. There needs to be immigration reform. It is really horrible that we are not spending the time actually working out a good well-planned, well thought-out immigration reform.” Hear, hear, girl!
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