This ‘Coming Out’ speech was originally made by IYJL member Maritere, in Daley Plaza on May 1, 2010
Hello my name is Maria Teresa and I’m an undocumented student and worker. I say this with great dignity, dignity that has been threatened since I was brought here when I was 5 years old. I don’t want to be too particular about myself here today because I will just echo stories from 13 million people in the US. Our specific stories don’t matter as much as the struggle that they have catalyzed. Now I would like to send a message to all of my fellow undocumented people and those who are not as well. I want all the companionship that I can get in this struggle. My message is simple: That this is the time to fight for the rights that we have been denied for so long now. We are not asking for any favors; we deserve this just like anyone else who has contributed to this country. Please do not let the mistaken rhetoric that we need to slow down with our struggle, that we are asking for too much, that it’s not the right time, that it’s okay if only a few get documentation, bring you down. Don’t they see that when they accept that they are accepting that we are not equal (and if I know one thing, is that we are all equal.), and that if anything destroys solidarity best it is leaving people out? Please don’t dare ask me to forsake the rights of humans for just a few undocumented people. We want LEGALIZATION FOR ALL!!