I’m on a plane now, and it feels like my stomach is on fire.
I can’t breathe.
The plane is bumping and screeching, and I can barely see out the window.
But I’m just about to land at the Ottawa airport, and as I make my way towards the security line, I hear the voice of a young woman on the other end of the line.
It’s the voice that is now telling me that I have to leave this country.
I am terrified.
I know that I can’t just go back to the U.S. and live out my days in peace and quiet.
I am scared of what’s going to happen to me.
My mother-in-law, who I have known since she was five, is terrified.
She has a job in the U, and she’s been here four years.
I’m terrified of what will happen to her.
I just can’t believe this is happening.
So, I’m in the back of the plane, and a few moments later I’m being led away by a woman who looks just like me, and we are being escorted by police.
They’re saying that I need to get back to Canada, because if I’m caught, I will be charged with violating the U-Pass.
I say, “I understand.”
But I also don’t want to leave Canada.
I want to be here, to help build my family here, and my life here.
I feel like I’m going to have to go through a lot.
I have been living in the United States for years now, so I’m used to being a citizen.
I think this will be the worst thing that’s ever happened to me in my life.
I don’t have a Canadian passport.
I’ve been here for seven years.
There are so many things I don’t know.
I can never go back.
And the police say I have a good reason to be afraid of this country, but I don.
I don ‘t know.
My mom-in and I are not going to talk to each other for a long time, because it will make us look like traitors.
But my mom-on-the-line told me I can call her and I’m not going anywhere.
I know what you’re going through.
She was very emotional, and this was just very, very hard.
I was really scared, and they had to escort me out.
I had tears in my eyes.
I couldn’t breathe, and at first I didn’t think it was going to last very long.
They were telling me I should just go, because this is America.
But the police just took me into a room.
They said, “You don’t need to go, you’re safe.”
And I was like, “Yeah, I don.”
I felt safe.
I didn ‘t have to be a citizen of the United Kingdom.
I would never have been a citizen, if it wasn ‘t for the U Pass.
My friends are also afraid of going back to this country now.
I told my mom, “Please, please don’t let me go back.”
She said,, “We are not letting you go.”
And my mom was like “I’m not letting go.
Please don’t tell me what to do.
I will tell you what to go back, if you do this.”
I said, “”You know, it’s just so hard to be scared of that.
“I told her I was scared of this, but she was like,”No, you don’t understand.
I do understand.
It’s hard, I really do.
“So, after a long and emotional night in Canada, I was on my way to the United Nations to tell my story.
I met with the U’s director general and the secretary-general of the U in a conference room in New York.
They asked me to write a letter to the president, so that we could tell him what we had seen.
And I did.
I asked him if he wanted to send me a message that would make this possible.
I was very touched.
It was very moving.
He wanted to be involved.
I also said, I know it’s very scary, but please know that it’s not about me.
It really is about my family and the people who are in this room.
And he said, you know, we are doing all that we can.
I wanted to tell him, and he wanted me to.
We were both crying a little bit.
I felt like I was crying in front of him.
But he didn ‘ t say anything.
He just listened.
And it was very beautiful.
I said this is a big responsibility, but it is also a very personal one, because I’m the daughter of an American citizen, and there are so few people in the world who understand the fear that this makes for me.