Testimony from June 6, 2016 Birmingham "Moral Revival" service on the need for immigration justice

Below is a video testimony given at the "The Revival: Time for a Moral Revolution of Values" Birmingham service on June 6, 2016, about immigration justice issues. A summary transcript of the video follows: 

Good Afternoon. My name Is Felicia Aldana, and I am a senior at Ramsay High School. My father is a single parent and has always taught me and my brother to chase our dreams no matter what including my crazy dream to study neurology and hopefully attend Boston University in the Fall. He has lived in the United States for a total of almost thirty years and has always been a prime example for my brother and I by paying his taxes, obeying traffic laws, and participating in community events such as Fiesta, that raise money to give scholarships for students like me. 

At the age of 12 I first saw how Alabama’s anti-immigrant law (HB 56) had harmed my community. I remember Immigration officers coming to a trailer right in front of my bus stop and not just takingthe one person they were looking for, but also six or seven other people. I remember one of the mothers crying with a baby in her arms. I couldn't help but cry on my way to school because this was a baby that deserved to have both of her parents together as a happy family. Although this was not my family and I didn’t know them, I saw the pain of the mothers, fathers, and children being ripped apart.

Did they know they were separating families, families that fled violence, and poverty in their countries to give a better future for their kids such as having the freedom to obtain a better education and protect their kids from violence?  Not much longer afterwards, my dad got called that immigration officers had detained my uncle Pablo where he worked with my dad. This made me think that day, what if my dad had been detained with them, what would my brother and I do? Would my brother and I end up in foster care? I could not lose the one person who had seen me grow, who put my brother and I first before any situation and anybody else. He deserved to see me graduate in my cap and gown receiving my high school diploma. 

With President Obama's executive order my friends could graduate from high school and pursue a higher education and help me motivate other students. This would also benefit another 3.6 million people just like my family. They are the families who came here to give a better life to their children, who work long hours for little pay, who push their kids to do well in school and earn their high school diploma.

This experience has led me to believe that I am capable of anything I put my mind to. I promise to work harder each and every day for my family, for my Latino Community, and for the thousands of Latinos that live in fear of deportation, because there is power in our unity, in raising our voices with no fear with the rallying cry Si Se Puede! I will continue to fightalong with the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice and I would like you to join us!