Being here illegally must be difficult, scary and stressful, but being here legally is becoming scary and stressful as well, and it should not be that way.
Although I have always been here legally — in spite of having a permanent resident card, and besides the fact that I have never committed a crime — I feel threatened, hopeless and sad.
In spite of not being U.S.-born, I consider the United States my home. As a high school teacher I pledge allegiance to our flag every morning to show my love and appreciation for our country.
I know many immigrants like me feel the same way because this is a great nation. I feel sorry for families who are going to be separated. I feel sorry for the uncertainty of those who helped our troops in Iraq, but I mostly feel sorry for those who still deny the clear reality that our nation has started to raise a feeling of discrimination and hate against minorities like never before.
The very name of our country reminds us to unite for what is right, but being right or wrong depends on the eye of the beholder.
This is oftentimes created by a reality motivated for political reasons, religious reasons and passed-along reasons.
It is time to stop criticizing, it is time to stop fighting each other, it is time to see beyond a skin color, it is time to hear beyond an accent, it is time to see people. It is time to build the nation our children deserve.
Mario Perea was born in Colombia. He has been teaching Spanish at Bishop Kelly High since 2002 and has a bachelor’s in modern languages and a master’s in bilingual education from BSU.