by Kaliyah and Amyah

Dear World,

We are writing this letter about how deportation impacted us and how we feel about this happening to others. In the U.S, deportation is a very big subject and a hard thing to go through especially if you weren’t expecting it. One of our good friends, Melani, was forced to return to El Salvador. When we got this news, we were in distress and we had mixed emotions: we were mad and sad and confused and just wanted to know why couldn’t anyone give us an answer? Why couldn’t she stay?

My name is Amyah and my name is Kaliyah and we are part of the Word on the Street Squad.

What I, Amyah, remember about Melani is when I had my first interview to see if I should be apart of the Squad. It was Melani interviewing me and I felt a little shy. When I found out that I was part of the Squad, we had our first meeting with all the group members. When I first showed up, I didn’t feel like I belonged there so she made me feel like I belonged.

And I, Kaliyah, remember how Melani always had a backup plan if things weren’t going the way they were supposed to and was always willing to do more and make other people happy. She always helped us fix our problems in a calm manner.  Melani did no harm, she was the sweetest girl we knew, she always had a smile on her face and was always willing to help others. Melani loved her life here and just because of these stupid “U.S policies” we no longer get to be with our friend.

We don’t understand why the United States tells people to move here for a better life or for better opportunities.We don’t understand how the U.S citizens tell immigrants to move to the U.S and lie to them by saying that it is easier for them to live here, but that is only true for the people who live here. When they try to get away from bad situations, like no jobs or violence, to get to a good situation, they are sent back to what they were running away from. When deporting these harmless people, do you think about all they have done for us in the U.S.? What is the difference between someone who is a naturalized citizen or becomes a citizen, and a person who can’t, for various reasons, access a process to citizenship that will really work? They are the same. They are moving here to make a better life which makes the USA better. If people from Central America are a  problem, why do we teach their main language in schools? If you could deport someone like Melani you should deport all of us because the same things she did when she lived here are things that we do every day. So why are we still here and she isn’t?