Opinion: Against all odds dreaming of a better tomorrow is uniquely American

By Tony Valdovinos | Paradise Valley Independent

(Editor’s note: Opinion pieces are published for discussion purposes only.)

Recently the U.S. Supreme Court heard a case that could result in me being kicked out of the only country I have ever known. On January 29th a musical called Americano! opens at The Phoenix Theatre Company based on my life’s story.

Tony Valdovinos

It is a strange time to be me. It is a strange time for many, including those who want to be Americans. Who are Americans?

My story is this.  Inspired by the horrific tragedy of 9/11 I spent the next several years wanting one thing:  to be a Marine.  So on my 18th birthday, I went to enlist. There I stood as recruiters asked for my birth certificate and Driver’s License to start the process. But I didn’t have either. I didn’t think it was a big deal but the recruiter did, and then got angry that I was wasting his time.

He told me to go home and confront my parents. I did. They had lied to me. I was undocumented, brought to America from Colima, Mexico when I was two years old.


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