[M]any immigrants choose to come to the United States for one reason, to live the “American Dream,” but what exactly is that dream? To some, it is to become very wealthy and for others, it is getting a better education and having more opportunities. Immigrants who are under the age of 31, entered the United States before age 16, have lived continuously in the country for at least five years, have not been convicted of a felony, and are currently in school, graduated from high school, earned a GED, or served in the military, are considered “Dreamers.”
They meet the general requirements of the Dream (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act. The immigration law refers to the rules established by the federal government for determining who is allowed to enter the United States and for how long. Becoming a U.S. citizen became a lot harder after the September 11, 2011 terror attacks and has led to debates over the security of the United States’ borders and immigration policy.
On November 20, 2014, President Obama stated in his prime-time address to the nation that he would shield as many as five million undocumented immigrants from deportation and allow many of them to work legally. He also spoke about immigration and why it is good for people who want to make the United States their home.
“Folks travel here in the hopes of being a part of a culture of entrepreneurship and ingenuity, and by doing so they strengthen and enrich that culture. Immigration also means we have a younger workforce–and a faster-growing economy–than many of our competitors. And in an increasingly interconnected world, the diversity of our country is a powerful advantage in global competition.”
President Obama stated how immigrants have always helped to build and defend our country. Being an American is not about if you were born here, it is all about faith in the country.
Faith is definitely a quality that rapper Snow Tha Product has. She has been signed with Atlantic Records for almost three years and had a successful 2014, which included a nationwide tour and a high-profile appearance during the male-dominated 2014 BET Hip Hop Awards Cypher.
Snow Tha Product’s parents were both illegal Mexican immigrants. Because they both were illegals, it made it harder for the rapper throughout high school. One of the reasons Snow chose her career as a rapper was a bad experience when applying for college.
“It impacted me a lot because of the way I lived. We used to live in the hood and then my mom got on some type of low-income type situation where they kind of took us and put us more middle-class,” Snow Tha Product explained to CollegeHipHop.com.
Snow said that instead of being just poor, they were now the poorest of the middle-class. She persevered through high school but after graduation, her parents’ citizenship presented difficulties for her, especially when applying for financial aid.
“It was kind of weird like I’m not set up to do all of this and I’m over here at FAFSA and I’m filling all of this stuff out and things are just not working,” Snow explained. “So as soon as I got my books, and my book money, I got a parking ticket. I was like fuck this shit, I am out of here. ‘I’m gonna be a rapper mom!’ So I left and never looked back.”
Despite the adversity, at least having parents that were in the United States impacted her positively and made her very grateful.
“Now, I am appreciative of everything I have. I don’t wanna be one of these artists that kind of gets their check and just balls out and then loses their house,” Snow said. “I definitely wanna buy my mom a house…it humbled me down to make sure that I appreciate everything ’cause my parents worked very hard to come here.”
Thanks to President Obama’s reforms, millions of young people like Snow will finally have a chance to live and work legally in the United States. Snow’s mother is finally celebrating her citizenship, which was an extremely important day for the rapper as well.
“My mom just got her citizenship, and that was so many years of working at it. I got to see her swear in,” Snow Tha Product explained. “I was in California and she was swearing-in in Texas and I had to fly out and just make it a big deal. I’m there cheering my mom on in the background and I was kind of nervous for her.”
Snow Tha Product plans on making her first album a tell-all about her life because she feels that everyone will be able to relate to it in some way.