STORY 2: To Fast For Families

To Fast For Families:

First of all, I would like to thank you for this opportunity to express my feelings today.

My family came to the U.S. on a visa. The main reason for us to even move here in the first place was because of education and the opportunities available. The south-Asian country I am from had a firm belief that there is no other country in this world with a wide variety of opportunities as America. We moved to America when I was freshman in high school. I always wanted to be a doctor ever since I was a child. Helping people gave me a purpose in life, and I wanted to continue this for the rest of my life by becoming a doctor. After I entered college and began looking for medical schools to apply to, I have learned that many of the colleges in America do not accept students without a green card. The ones that do accept “international students” are possibly Ivy League schools. For a person who speaks English as a second language trying to take a standardized exam that is entirely passage-based, to make a reasonable score to get accepted into an Ivy League school is completely out of the question. It may be possible, but I know my limits. Even if I did get in with such a high MCAT score and GPA, I still would not be able to provide proof that I will be able to pay for medical school without taking any loans. Because I do not have a green card, I do not qualify for government loans or any other financial aid.

This is my seventh year in America. After talking to several “foreign” friends I have met in college, I have learned that they have already received their green cards and citizenships because a family member sponsored them. The green card process depends on the country of birth, but giving it to someone who has lived here for only 3 years as opposed to someone who has lived here for 7 years simply does not make sense. My family and I have been paying taxes to the state just like everybody else. We deserve the right and equal chance as any American to be accepted into a medical school.

I have lived here for seven years and my green card date is being pushed back every time we get close to the deadline. This wouldn’t be an issue for me if it didn’t affect my dream of becoming a doctor, which is why my family and I are here in the first place. America is where your dreams are supposed to come true. But, after you come here, it seems that there is more than just working hard for your dreams. There are way too many legal processes in this country that are simply inefficient and unfair.

I have done many things for the U.S. Like I said, I am a pre-med student in college. I have volunteered for several hospitals, libraries, hospice, and a mentoring program for girls. I have never treated anybody differently because I am a foreigner. I have treated everybody that I have helped like they were my own family/friend. I never felt different among them. I felt I was making a difference in their lives, and that is all that mattered. We are human, and we should all work together and be together instead of discriminate each other based on where we are from, and what we believe.

I want to stay in the US because I call it home. I have been living here since I was a teenager, and I am in my early twenties now. There is no other place I call home. I have built so many relationships with my friends that I am not willing to give up what I built over a course of half of my life. I will apply to medical schools in other countries, but I am not willing to relocate because I would not like to leave my home.

At the end of the day, we can all argue that yes, I can take a year off since I do not have a green card; it is not a big deal. But why should this even happen? I have worked harder than any of my classmates in my major at my university, and not being able to even apply to medical school because of a green card issue is very discouraging. Applying to medical school and not being accepted is one thing, but not being able to apply at all is a whole other story. I am not even given a chance to compete among other pre-meds in this country. I believe if we all work together and fix this issue, not as Americans, but as humans, it would be a great deal of help to many of the students like me. I reassure you that I am not the only person in this country with this kind of a problem. We need to treat each other as people, instead of discriminating each other based on nationality or ethnicity.

Thank you for reading my story.