Putting The “I” In Immigrant: A thread of hope for young immigrants

Dear young immigrants: 

We’re going to be OK. 

We are as strong as the can-do mothers who have nurtured us,

Diligent as the fathers who have put forth our way. 

They may grasp for the most beloved of things,

But they can never take our fight. 

For in truth

How can we be anything but resilient?

Those that have sought to quiet our voice and stamp our aspirations beneath their feet,

They have created a hardy breed of people

With tougher skins and louder voices. 

Do not forget: You are the pride of a foregone people. 

With nothing more than fifty dollars and a persistent accent to their names,

Our ancestors rested in small spaces between four, weary walls.

They worked years for what they knew was less than they deserved,

Because they worked for you — what they knew was worth more.

We’re going to be OK. 

The world may seem bleak at times. 

Our once-blue skies have turned fiery red and polluted grey,

But we will still bask in a singular sunny day

Because we have been taught to count small victories. 

The first man on the moon shouted with triumph,

The words we know well.


Your small victory is a milestone, 

Marking another “something-better” for us all. 

It’s no secret. 

You and I,

We have had a long four years. 

As a rule of thumb, 

We pray for sunshine,

Because we know that I.C.E. is no friend to us. 

We champion our Dreamers,

Because the world can seem, at times, 

A great nightmare for us all. 

They have threatened to barricade themselves behind solid, brick wall, 

And separate themselves from us in high, gleaming towers.

All the while, 

We watch from down below,


Do they not know we too seek a better America? 

To my fellow immigrants,

I know that you are weary,

But we have come too far to flirt with defeat. 

As of yet,

Where the future may take us hangs formidably in the balance. 

We watch with bated breath as our nation divides itself by primary colors. 

They fill in outlines,

Red or blue. 

These are no longer pigments within crayon boxes,

But symbols of either a continued struggle or a long-awaited reprieve. 

I am young and hold this dear to my heart like many. 

I do not claim to know everything, 

But this I know is true: 

We are strong together, united. 

In our groupings and delineations,

We may seem an insignificant cluster, 

A foreign entity with no place of belonging. 

And yet, in these past 1,500 days, 

I have watched with awe as we have stood in each other’s corners,

Championed one another’s causes. 

In a nation so severely divided,

You and me,

We have been able to see eye-to-eye.

With their words and actions,

Our leaders have implied with every microaggression that unalienable rights do not apply when you yourself are considered “alien.”

We are not convinced. 

We have learned not to fear a simple noun. 

No person, place, or thing has been able to take away our fighting spirit,

And no matter the results,

That will not be the case now. 

When I tell you that we will be OK,

It is because I have faith that we are made of stronger mettle. 

I do not pretend to know what the future holds or who will make decisions on our behalf,

But I know who I am and who you are. 

We are not all the same color, class or creed,

But we have decided to be the hands that hold one another standing. 

We are there for our undocumented brothers and sisters. 

We have lobbied for the lives deemed collateral damage in American wars.

We stand with our fellow hyphenated Americans, when our leaders choose money and politics over decency. 

This is how I know

With certainty

That we will be OK. 

I know your heart is troubled 

And you fear something yet unknown. 

Don’t worry; 

You’re not alone in this.

I feel it, too. 

But we will take it day by day,

Placing one foot in front of the other.

If you will tell me in return,

I will keep reminding you:
We’re going to be OK. 

Noelle Natividad is a sophomore writing about the immigrant experience in America. Her column, “Putting The “I” In Immigrant”, ran every other Friday.