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May 01, 2010

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Simone

You know, Rachel, I have no problem with what these kids are trying to do. I think it is very unfair the way America treats immigrants, especially them, who were brought here at young age. But I do have a problem with Felipe. A big one. I wish you can ask him questions like why not go back to Brazil - a country that is now booming?

He came here not as a child, but as a teenager - wasn't it?

I don't doubt he is a great kid. In fact, he seems like an awfully brilliant young man, but his insistence to stay in this country seems wrong in many levels... Well, I don't know his personal story that well, but whatever it is... (unless his life is being threaten) Brazil and Rio are not the worse places to be. If it were, there would not be so many Americans dying to live there and actually moving down there - as you, yourself did a while ago.

Things were difficult in the past (like when I came here). They still are for many, but there is opportunity. He is better off in his own country. If only, he would fight with this strength for education in Brazil... oh, that would be so wonderful.

I love America, I learned to love here in all these years. I have helped tutoring and mentoring many kids here, especially Blacks and Latinos from poor backgrounds (in the projects) but I can't never say I will stay here illegally (or legally) just to fight for some rights I think this country owes me. I would not do this, not for me, not for others - even if it is a noble cause. I am a Brazilian after all. I admire his courage to fight for such a great cause. But, at the same time, I wonder why he is not doing this for Brazil. Is not he a BRAZILIAN first?

It makes me question his true intentions. No that there is nothing wrong with wanting to live a "better" life here or wanting to make his life here. No. But he should be honest, I think. He is not doing this because he has no choice. That's all I am saying. There is a huge difference between being brought here at age 2 or 8, and 14. I left to Chile (because my parents took me there) when I was 11 and I knew back then I would return to Brazil. And, I did, when I was old enough. That I came here (to learn English) afterwords that is another story. But I am a Brazilian first. He is a Brazilian too. At 14 or 12, he is already aware of this. If I could ask this boy just "one" question, I would ask this:

Why he feels he cannot have his dream in Brazil? Why the US? Does not he love his own country?

Why he is REALLY doing this? He knows not only this country (the US) and this language. He is a Brazilian, a Brazilian boy raised most of his life in Brazil (as far as I know).

Best,
SP

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