Two days after the House vote on the DREAM Act, Scarlette shared her story for the first time publicly during a press conference sponsored by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO on December 10, 2010.
Their moment of hope is now. Pass the DREAM Act.
It is an exciting time to hear that the Dream Act is one step closer in becoming NOT a dream but a reality.
I first want to start off by saying thank you to all the champions in Congress, faith leaders, community activists who stand by us and help us have a voice.
My name is Scarlette Kim and I am a member of the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium and the Korean Resource Center. It took me a long time to say this, but I am an undocumented student. I’ve been attending a lot of these events for the DREAM Act and listened to my fellow students speak out. I decided that it would be my turn today. I am student at Santa Monica College, majoring in Mathematical Economics. I was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and I immigrated to America in 1996, when I was 6 years old.
Ever since I was young, I actually wanted to become a heart surgeon. However, during my senior year, my parents told me I was undocumented. They met the wrong lawyer, which left us all without proper documentation. After that, I realized that my dream may just remain a dream and never become reality. Coming to this realization was very agonizing and took months for me to finally accept. While my friends talked about getting their driver’s license, their first job, and their college goals, I could not relate with them because I was undocumented. I was facing larger life problems that no one understood. I began to live in fear.
It’s been years since the DREAM Act was first introduced and it still has yet to be passed. I feel like this fear has finally sunken inside of me, and it’s part of me now. But before it could take full control, I got active with other undocumented Korean American students. At last week’s press conference, I held up the DREAM ACT sign for the first time in front of everyone and not hiding in the back. This feeling of fighting for my dream, and coming out of the shadows, exhilarated me so much that I now do not fear but I challenge.
That is why I am here today; to tell members of Congress members that we will no longer live in the shadows. It hurts too much for us to wait any longer.
I may not have been born here, but this is the country I call home. For 12 years I’ve pledged allegiance to the flag and have dreamt of one day fully giving back to the country I love. Please just give us the opportunity. Thank You.