It is with a great joy that I announce that I have been given a great opportunity in this great country since I first arrived. It was 1998, and at age 13, I had little knowledge of the kind of people I would meet, and where the road would take me.
Turns out, most of the people I have met have made a difference in my life, and have guided me to be strong, to be patient, and to continue learning and living.
As many as 15 years have passed since then, and although still true to the challenge, I have risen to walk an enlightened path, and have continued my higher education without ever doubting myself.
Nonetheless, as I became part of the network of people, and as I became one with the communities I encountered, and as I learned more about the big opportunities of this nation and dreams of people; I realized that my dreams were different. Not by the fabric of origin, nor by the ambitious ideals, or by the unreachable happenstance. My dreams were derailed when a lawful formal petition for US Residency on my behalf got lost, or perhaps even purposefully misplaced by my sponsor petitioner back in 1998.
As a visitor I came, and as a foreigner I had to stay. All this years I have walked in the shadows, awaiting for a bright light of hope amongst the cluttered immigration system.
A second petition by my "natural born US citizen" brother was filed in 2003; and it was not until 7 years later, that such petition was ''accepted" by Immigration services.
And although those that truly have spared time with me would know, as I am quite open minded, and open to discuss subjects - this particular subject did not often come alive; for it is fear that hunts in the shadows.
In the shadows and beyond I have dwelt after High School, onto College. Working part or full time when possible and being a full time student at the same time. Many hours of dedication have paid off well with four Associate of Applied Science Degrees in the fields of Hospitality; Food and Beverage; Travel & Tourism; and Meeting & Events Planning Management. At the same time I completed a Professional Photography Diploma. I was designated a Lifestyle and Destination Specialist. Then moved onto specializing in Gourmet Cooking; Catering, and Nutrition & Diet Sciences.
All while furthering my labor experience in some of Austin's [Texas] great venues or known companies, including Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar; Roy's Hawaiian Fusion; Outback Steakhouse; Cork & Co.; InterContinental Hotels Group; the International Wine Guild; Gusto Tastings Group; also three Hill Country Wineries; and some of Austin's coolest Festivals or Events, as paid consultant, staff, liaison, contributor, educator, or volunteer.
After 2008 or 2009, as I gained more insight into the Lodging & Hotel industries, and the Winery and Vineyard operations; I further pursued professional recognition in a world with competition. Received from the American Hotel & Lodging Association's Educational Institute, a Professional Certification as Concierge; an Executive Certification in Wine Arts and Sommelier Service by the International Wine Guild in 2010; and a Professional Certification in Craft Beer Service by the Master Cicerone's Program. In 2012, 9 years after graduating with Scholar Honors from High School, I was gracefully bestowed the rare and coveted Guild Wine Master Candidacy by the International Wine Guild. It's also been 14 years since the first petition was filed.
And at this break is when by my count of age, it is one year less that half my life. Meaning that by this time, I have been for 15 years pledging my allegiance to the star spangled banner.
However, my given accolades are limited by the scarce legality of my status in the eyes of the laws which backlog a sibling petition.
And not knowing what to expect next is the worst all the time has always been hard.
However, in spite all obstacles and challenges, I always decided to pursue my education and continue to work in the field, disregarding the risks. As I would like to contribute to the growing community and culture; to everything that has given me an opportunity.
It is not until recently, as of June 2012, that President Barack Obama, petitioned the Department of Homeland Security to approve the halt of deportations to people of no-risk; hard working individuals who have been brought up in this country,and attended High School with fellow Americans, and that would like to contribute to this ever growing melting pot of cultures. This is all a topic that has been much debated, but yet little action has been taken by Congress, as the Dream Act
first got introduced in 2001, yet it has not been made law by unanimous bilateral chambers. The current provisions in the petition of the Executive Order by Obama
, those people that like myself, meet the criteria, would be granted a work permit for two years; and that would be two more years that I can not only work in better conditions and with a commendable wage that would fit my skills and experience, but it would also allow me to venture into the bigger workplace market, to which I have been restrained from. With this, better opportunities would come. A dream of opportunity by Dreamers for this community.
This is a legal process that will take some time, and it would ultimately be up to the Homeland Security and Immigration Services Departments to grant me such benefits under the Executive Order. My case, being such an unique one, having so many contributors and variables, may have several angles to play, and because of this, I have been forced to seek legal counsel; exploring every option.
*On Feb 8th, 2013, DHS/USCIS sent me a notice stating that they have recieved my DACA application!
And it is due to this that I also must seek financial aid from any resource currently available to me. I ask of you that if you are able to commit and sponsor my path to legality and transparency in the work force, that you donate any possible amount that would ease my burden of legal fees.