don't be like me.

dear jorge,
you make sure you go to college, so that you can have a good career. there are a lot of temptations, i know. don't be like everyone else, using drugs, getting high. don't get into trouble with the police. know that they're not here to help you. only to deport you, make you suffer. the white man can disrespect you as much as he'd like, but if you do so much as give him a dirty look, he'll have the authorities send you away. for good. and don't think you'll be back there with esmerelda and juanita. no, they'll send you far, far away, to a place you have never been. do you think the authorities have the time to sort through all of us? to send us back from "where we came?" no, they don't, and they don't care where we go, so long as it's away. could be portugal, guadalajara, el salvador, cuba. it won't matter when we don't speak english, when we've got dark skin, dark hair, and dark eyes. it could be different for you, you know. i've heard you complain about school. but just try. try working in the field. just for a couple of days; no, a couple of hours. you won't be able to stand when the day is done. don't flirt with the girls. one little kiss and she's pregnant and you've disgraced us all. i'm not asking much. just get good grades, so that you can have a good career. so that you can provide for your family, like we have provided for you. take a look around. you can have better than this. do you think i like living here? living in pity and filth? it's easier now for you. back then, things were worse than this. i never had the chance to go to school, but you do. can you imagine? you don't want this. i know you don't. and i don't want it for you, either. college is the answer. you can be anything: a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer. you're young, but not naive. you don't want this. don't be like me. please, don't be like me.

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