What would you do if you were a 38-year-old single parent who was financially responsible for your sister and your parents—but you were in a dead-end job with no opportunities on the horizon? Seriously – what would you do?
If you were Doris P., you would decide to leave your son with your parents and move from the Philippines to the US so you could make enough money to allow your parents to live out their lives in relative comfort, in their own home, and with enough money to enjoy themselves. Would you have the courage to do that?
Not only did Doris P. come to the US alone in 2008, but she already had a job with Marriott Hotels lined up before she left for Orlando, Florida. And now, after eight years in the USA, she is finishing her A.A. degree at LaGuardia Community College and searching for a position in human resources.
Doris P. loves President Obama, who she felt understood her value as an immigrant and welcomed people like her to make a life in America. When she fell in love, a law passed by the president allowed her to get married and quickly get her green card.
In the Philippines she had worked as a customer service representative for a telephone company for 16 years with scant opportunity to shift careers. In the US, she had options! After working for Marriott, she became a nanny for five years, and is now a human resources intern at Western Beef Company. Meanwhile, her son, who stayed in the Philippines, has finished college and is now teaching math in high school.
However, Doris’s story changed with this latest presidential election. She has now become an active member of the grassroots community organization, Indivisible Queens, as a means of opposing President Trump’s agenda. “He just doesn’t get it,” she says. “I am concerned that my Filipino community will be greatly harmed by his policies. This is also my way of expressing my gratitude for all the great things, the green card, the chance to go back to college, which benefited me during Obama’s presidency,” she adds.
Doris is just getting started in the activist world: “I have been attending the Indivisible Queens meetings and I sent postcards opposing Trump after his inauguration, signing petitions online, using my social media accounts to share upcoming events or protests. And I went to the recent LGBT protest at Stonewall Inn. I want to make phone calls, but I’m hesitant to share my personal info like my phone number because I am planning to apply for my US citizenship this coming June.”
Doris P.’s story is just one of many that illustrate the vital contribution immigrants make to our communities and our country. In the coming months, Indivisible Queens will be sharing stories about Queens residents who are banding together to oppose the policies of the new president.
Indivisible Queens is one of 7,000 community groups in the country that are actively engaging with the government –meeting their representatives, developing positions on the important issues facing the country, and holding elected officials accountable to their constituents.
As founder of Indivisible Queens, I am proud to share that there are 130 people who have opted into our mailing list and participate in meetings, join rallies and protests, and organize to lobby local elected officials. There are at least 20 other Queens neighborhood groups under the Indivisible movement.
Names have been changed to protect identities
Photo Credit: Indivisible Queens