How scared she must have been, how much courage it must have taken to walk headlong into so many unknowns. But that young mother kept going. Because she and my father believed that hard work would reap rewards here. Because she sensed that this strange, vast country held a golden sheen of opportunity. Because she would forfeit anything for her children’s future. We were lucky. We came to the United States with green cards, during a gap of time when immigrants were not reviled or demonized. No one turned us away from school or denied us a path to college. No one stopped my two sisters from earning Ph.D’s and becoming college professors; no one stopped me from graduating from New York University and going on to work at the Boston Globe, Miami Herald, Philadelphia Inquirer and the Associated Press. We never had to live in the shadows, or tremble in fear of stepping inside a schoolroom. My parents’ sweat and sacrifice and sueños paid off. I think of how they saw their daughters achieve the American Dream, how they watched us win awards and honors and accolades. Then I think of all the families who are forced to live in the shadows, whose joys and journeys have suddenly been thwarted, whose hopes have been met with hostility. All the children clutching backpacks and paper bag lunches, spinning visions of their futures in their heads. All the mothers working in factories, cleaning houses, harvesting vegetables, toiling in restaurants, raising other people’s children, vacuuming office buildings, running nursing homes.