Undocumented and Awkward: Episode 1

As undocumented immigrants living in this country, there are many instances in our lives which result in awkwardness not experienced by American citizens. Things that millions of others take for granted, such as driving to the grocery store or the ability to go to a bar to enjoy a nice cold beer after a long hard day at work, can turn into awkward silences at best, or deportation situations at worst.

In this episode, Jesus experiences an awkward ping of the heart when he shows up to a blind date at a club and is barred from entering because he doesn’t have an American-issued identification card.

The lack of an American identification card is one of the most problematic aspects of the undocumented lifestyle. It inhibits us from participating in countless leisure activities and it exposes us when in professional situations. It creates awkward moments in which our immigration status is brought up by government officials and law enforcement officers, potential employers, regular business people, and even friends and family members. Having to explain ourselves can oftentimes lead to embarrassing conversations that result in misunderstanding.

Because in many parts of the United States, law enforcement officers can stop anyone at any time, it’s important for everyone to have some sort of identification so as to avoid grave situations with police. Often times, our way around that is to obtain a passport from our home countries or a consulate card.

A consulate identification card is the most common form of ID that immigrants have (documented and undocumented). In the case of Mexicans, it looks something like this:

Despite popular belief amongst anti-immigrant groups, it does not look anything like this:
Nor this:

It’s a federally issued ID card that can be used in many instances, such as opening a bank account, in most financial transactions, opening accounts for utilities, applying for schools, etc. And contrary to popular belief amongst the American population, as it’s clearly not an American ID card, one cannot use it to vote, obtain a license or state ID, apply for welfare, and many other services that are provided for American citizens.

But in spite of the fact that it is a legal and federally issued identification card, many businesses opt not to take a consulate card as valid form of ID. Hence, being turned away at an R-rated movie or being turned away at a bar can be a reminder of our place in American society, proof of our second-class citizenship.  We can certainly use it to open accounts with corrupt banking corporations, use it as proper identification in encounters with police officers, use it to pay fines and tickets, but we cannot use for everyday trivial things, such as enjoying a city’s night life or buying a lousy bottle of wine for a significant other’s birthday celebration.

Do YOU have an awkward moment that you’d like to share with us? Leave us a comment! We might just run with your experience (because chances are, we’ve experienced something similar) and create a video around the idea!

You can also send us an email at dreamersadrift@gmail.com.

5 comments on “Undocumented and Awkward: Episode 1

  1. Well, if you don’t like it, you can either become a US citizen, or go home.

    • Well Mike… I would like to continue to live here, as this is my “home”.

      Maybe you know someone whom I can marry; maybe a sister, cousin, aunt? It’d be really nice to not only become a U.S. citizen, but to also marry myself into your wonderful family.

      Who knows. It can happen. ;)

      • Have you considered applying for a green card? There are ways to US citizenship other than marrying an American. Do a little research, earn your citizenship. I had to.

        • You know what, Mike? Thank you. I have absolutely no idea why I hadn’t thought of this. All these of years of wondering… all these years of waiting… all these years of not knowing… all I had to do was consider applying for a green card.

          Well… I guess that’s it for me. My life is about to change, thanks to Mike. A complete stranger who just wants the absolute very best for us undocumented folks who don’t really do anything but work hard, go to school, live as model citizens, and wait for an opportunity to arise instead of manifesting it for ourselves by considering applying for a green card.

          Thank you for your recommendation, Captain Obvious.

  2. Yeah, that’s what I thought, you wouldn’t post my previous comment, because you know everything I said is true.

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