An Open Letter to Senator Cornyn

Dear Senator Cornyn, 

I, like you, am a Texan. Like you, I love Texas and I love the United States. 

I came to the U.S. from Mexico with a tourist visa when I was 11 years old to be reunited with my parents, who came here in search of the wonderful American Dream. But when I turned 14, my visa expired and I became undocumented.

In 2001, Texas gave me the opportunity of a lifetime when it became the first state to allow undocumented students to attend college, pay in-state tuition, and receive state financial aid. My beloved state of Texas with its blue bonnets, Friday Night Lights, and proud “Don’t Mess with Texas” spirit, that Texas gave me an opportunity. Not a handout, I wasn’t looking for a handout — they simply evened the playing field for me. 

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I went on to graduate with honors from UT, and then-Governor Rick Perry presented me with the prestigious Texas Woman Scholarship and called me, and undocumented immigrant from Mexico, “a ray of hope for the future.” I was one of the lucky ones, and was able to gain citizenship after I married U.S Citizen boyfriend. I became a vice-president at Goldman Sachs and now I am a writer. But there are still millions of young immigrants who find themselves with uncertain futures despite their hard work and contributions to our country.

Today you introduced the SECURE Act, because you say you want to help the young undocumented immigrants left in limbo due to President Trump terminating DACA.  But the SECURE Act only secures the deportation of millions of hardworking, law-abiding immigrants, including the DACA Recipients you say you want to help. 

You say there is no urgency in protecting these young Americans, but each day 122 people are losing their ability to work and go to school, and become subject to the deportation machine you want to help expand with the SECURE Act. 10,000 Dreamers have already lost their DACA status, some of them in Texas. Starting March 5th, more than 1,700 people will begin losing their status. 

The SECURE Act is nothing more than a far right, fear mongering bill.  We will not be distracted by your attempt to derail talks of passing a legislative solution that provides a permanent solution for Dreamers with a path to citizenship. 

If you want to help dreamers and Texans like me, I urge you to co-sponsor the Dream Act. 

Sincerely, 

A fellow Texan.