Photo: Justin McCallum

Marina G.

Mexico-USA

24, Program Coordinator at a nonprofit
New York, NY

I have moved from Mexico to the U.S. 3 times, when I was 2, 6, and 16. Each time I’ve had to pack my home and move to a new state. I’ve been privileged enough to have taken a plane every time. I was accidentally born in the U.S. My parents, part of the Mexican foreign service, where stationed in California when I was born. Two years later I moved back to Mexico. Even though 10 of my formative years were spent in Mexico, my parents made an active effort to Americanize my education to prevent me from being held back once we were stationed in the U.S. again. Based on my “luck” of being born on this side of the river, I have had the privilege to work and study where I please. Having dual citizenship has allowed me to vote and have my voice heard in two countries. This “luck” is not afforded to the rest of my family. My sister who happened to be born in Mexico, but like me has lived most of her life in the U.S. is not a U.S. citizen. Because of a piece of paper, we navigate our careers, our goals, and our ambitions completely differently. My sister lives with different fears as I walk freely to protests and apply to jobs without needing further explanation. In a couple of years my parents will be re-stationed once more and my sister will have to face an incredibly hard decision, to stay or to go.

Why did your family come to the United States? My father is part of the Mexican foreign Affairs.

What would the U.S. be missing out on if you or your people were banned? A person who cries (mostly tears of joy) on public transport.