The Georgia Bulldogs learned first hand how tough immigration policies can lead to individual negative experience. Talented football recruit, Chester Brown, was heavily recruited to Georgia from his high school in Hinesville, Georgia. Chester was born in Samoa and brought to the United States by his family when he was a boy. He went to school in California and was moved to Hinesville by his family when violence was running rampant in California.
Chester enrolled in and went to school in Hinesville. He joined the football team and was an athletic standout. His dream was to become a Georgia Bulldog. The Georgia Bulldog’s dream was to have him. Just another American success story right?
The problem arose when a rule requiring every potential student to prove their lawful status in the United States was brought to light. Chester was a child when he came to the U.S. He had no documentation to prove his status. Chester’s family also were unable to provide the proper documentation. So, no Georgia Bulldogs for Chester. And no Chester for the Georgia Bulldogs.
Stories like Chester’s are going to become more prevalent in the years to come. Children brought to the U.S. by the parents, either lawfully or unlawfully, integrate into our society. They become neighbors, friends, boyfriends or girlfriends, of U.S. citizens. The learn the language. They learn the culture. All while the ties to the country they were born in dissolve, if they were ever present in the first place. Now, upon the age of maturation, they are told that they need a driver’s license, social security card, and other documentation to prove their lawful status. They are stuck between two countries. One, they may barely know, and one they call home, but will not accept them. Through no fault of their own, these children, are left stateless.
Legislation, specifically the Dream Act, has been proposed but not passed to address this issue. But the wheels of justice move very slowly. For thousands of talented kids, raised and educated in the United States, they will not move fast enough. For Chester, this was a lose-lose situation for both him and for the University of Georgia. These stories happen more frequently than you would probably imagine. The stereotype of an Hispanic apple picker taking American jobs is not the reality. Kids that look and talk and act like any other American born child are the reality.
Read more about Chester Brown here.