Immigration MIC
Immigration MIC
Jun 22, 2017
Mayra Meléndez Arias on Immigration MIC!
36 min

Welcome former Maryland DREAM Act organizer, Immigrant Justice Corp Fellow, and immigration paralegal, welcome Mayra to this week’s Immigration MIC!

Extremely accomplished - in this conversation we bring it back to the basics: Mayra tells me about growing up on the eastern shore of Maryland up until college, how as a senior in high school how her family lost status, and how through her best friend she discovered activism and organizing.

***IMPORTANT: Mayra resisted for a long time in her activism, taking about a year to become heavily involved, because of constant affirmation from the people around her.

International Studies and Conflict Analysis, to being almost done with her fellowship to pursuing a degree in law school, Mayra takes me through her path and journey in her career, from initially not knowing where her future was headed.

“The worst was during the election” she tells me about the need to create a space for herself outside of the immigration world, especially after speaking with panicking clients, when she was experiencing similar anxiety herself. Her self-care: hiking, cooking, reading, and dancing.

Her support network included folks from the organizing world, college friends, and professors - she relays a story about how some of her college peers would talk about immigrants right in front of her, and the horrible emotions she would experience as a result, and the disappointment when people who disagreed wouldn’t speak up.

Mayra is very selective about sharing her story and gets deep into the psychology behind what she wishes people would take away: “sometimes I feel our stories are focused too much on the good, all the successes - not all the anxiety, uncertainty, and the loneliness.”

“One thing that keeps me moving forward is my ancestors - there’s a history of resistance, or resilience” - is inspiration she draws from during these tough moments - “no matter what, you’re not alone”.

Thank you so much for having messaged me back Mayra! and wanting to be a part of the conversation we’re having in this space - I appreciate the conversation and looking forward to working together in the future!

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