“These are the things I stole”: In defense of DACA

Cristian O. Contreras, Special to the Chanticleer

A lot of people are wondering why I’m reposting old pictures. Here’s why: Below are pictures of things I’ve stolen. These are things I stole from fellow Americans.

I stole a diploma to a 4 year institution. I committed a crime by cheating the system. Instead of taking out the normal loans, I paid my way through. Cash. Well, sometimes a plastic card, but mainly cash. How dare I? How dare I work endlessly to make ends meet and get an education? I shouldn’t have done it. It could’ve been another American student in my spot. It should’ve been. I mean after all, not everyone gets to go to college. It’s not like you don’t just meet some score requirements, apply for aid, get some sort of help, and attend. And for those who don’t get help, it’s not like you can’t just sacrifice a few things and work your way through. It can’t be that easy.

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Cristian Contreras’ diploma from JSU. Contreras graduated in August of 2017. (photo courtesy of Cristian Contreras)

I stole an American woman – a teammate. I know it’s frowned upon. I shouldn’t have. I know better. I know racism doesn’t exist. I know the ugly looks I get from people when we are out together are because they just want better for her. Why wouldn’t they? I have nothing to offer. I know they don’t mean bad by it. I know people have stopped talking to her just so she realizes it’s for her own good. She’ll come around though. Maybe? I mean after all, does she want to be with a foreigner? I know it’s because I’m lazy and live off the government. I don’t blame them.

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Cristian Contreras and his wife, Amber, at the 2017 Spring Commencement ceremony. (photo courtesy of Cristian Contreras)

I own a house and two vehicles. I stole those. I know I should give it up to the people that don’t have a home. Especially the ones who made bad decisions. They deserve this, not me. After all, they were born within the jurisdictions of the Land of the Free. They are more entitled. I’m a nobody. They just slipped up, but I’m a thief and don’t deserve to pay my mortgage or my car notes. I don’t deserve to have a good credit score. I didn’t work for it, after all.

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The Contreras’ house. (photo courtesy of Cristian Contreras)

I shouldn’t have a job. They should give it to someone else. Someone who deserves it. All these unemployed people are the ones who should have it. Especially the ones who couldn’t help the fact that they come up in a steady household, great parents, and all the support they needed and threw it away. They truly deserve it. Not me. I just came and took their job. I filled the application out, I passed the background check, I passed the drug test. Why? I should’ve known better than to invade something that wasn’t mine to take.

Cristian and Amber

Cristian and Amber Contreras. (photo courtesy of Cristian Contreras)

I stole the American Pride. I have it. I have it deep in my soul and heart. I shouldn’t have it. They don’t want me here. Not because I’m a bad worker, because I’m mean, because I’m not friendly, because I’m uneducated, because I’m bilingual, but because I was born outside of the lines and was brought here when I was 3 months old. 3. I made that decision on my own to come at 3 MONTHS old. That’s why they don’t want me here. That’s why they give me looks when I speak Spanish. They’re right. I shouldn’t be here. I’m not welcome here. But guess what? I’m not going anywhere. Because America is my home. I love the United States of America. And I’ve always been taught to turn the cheek and kill them with kindness. Take away DACA (the program that allowed me to become the thief that I am and steal everything listed below) if you’d like, but I’m going nowhere soon. I would die for this country and everything it has done for me. So for all those in favor of removing me and 800,000 more like me who didn’t have a choice…kiss my success. Because at the end of the day, I’ll be that thief. And until someone comes and steals it back over my dead body, it’ll stay that way. God Bless the USA y ¡Viva México, cabrones! For those who this offends, delete me “cupcakes”.


***EDIT *** I didn’t post this to throw a pity party or to pay myself on the back. There are hundreds out there like me and that’s what I’m getting at. Hundreds of kids took advantage of DACA and bettered themselves. I just want people to see it from OUR point of view.


**The Chanticleer’s Note: Cristian’s post first appeared as a Facebook post and has been printed and published with his permission.**


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