I have this thing I like to call my "reward vs risk ratio" that pops into my head whenever I feel my undocumented status presents a dilemma to living a normal life. For example, I currently drive around with a valid foreign license. When I first got it I actually blogged about it in 2009 but I ended up losing it in a taqueria (actually some idiot stole it). I eventually got another one and drive around with it and I even got pulled over once and was let go (I was scared to death but I spoke to the officer with confidence, it wasnt anything i did, my tail light was broken. Although I also believe it is because i was driving in a relatively crappy car for the neighborhood I was driving in.) Anyway whenever I sit in the driver's sit I always say this in my head "I take responsibility for everthing that this car gets me, the good and the bad." What I mean by this is that I am definitely running the risk of being caught. Yeah I was let go that one time but what if I ended up with a really pissed of cop? Sometimes being caught versus being let go is a matter of probabilty of what kind of cop I encounter. I mentally prepared myself each time to get deported and spending time in one of those jail cells for months on end that I've read so much about. But even with that risk, the rewards were so high. My grades greatly improved so much so that I ended up getting accepted to the University of California Davis as a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major with a minor in Education. I was also able to help my family so much with chores and even found a job for a short amount of time that I drove myself to. The benefits were so great it tips the scale towards the reward end.
However recently I got into a car accident and am working it out with my insurance company. Yes, undocumented people can get insurance. However this is the first time I have ever encountered this situation and much of my legality had to be divulged in a recorded audio tape for the insurance company to litigate the pay off for damages (it was my fault for the accident, btw always look over your shoulder and dont just rely on the mirrors). So I'm just sweating the situation out right now and hopefully my legality isnt put into question or reported to ICE. I feel that it is highly unlikely because they are a private insitiution and they should technically represent me but I'll never know until its all done with. In the end I dont regret this uncertainty phase that I have to deal with now because being able to drive opened up so many doors for me and help me repay people I felt had helped me along the way in growing up and being in this situation as I blogged before. So worst comes to worst at least I've repaid back a good amount to what people have done for me in the past as well as grown tremedously as a person. Also being back in my native country meana ill be legal, lol so there always that.But in any event, we will see how this whole thing goes, wish me luck [:
P.S. The time I spent away from here was also time I spent trying to repay the kindness that was shown to me in the past.
On a side note: I live in california which is a state that is very relaxed on undocumented immigrants in comparision to other states. I make these risk keeping that in mind as well as knowing that days before the end of the month are days police like to catch up on giving out tickets, night time is when cops usually set up checkpoints, rainy nights are dangerous, nice neighborhoods are not nice to ugly cars. Also on the DMV website for cali, it specifically states that a valid foreign license is valid in this state as long as it is not expired. So for any dreamer thinking about driving I suggest thinking very deeply about the rewards/risk involved and be prepared to live with all consequence, the good and the bad.