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我的非法移民生活

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核心提示:My mother told me I was excited about meeting a stewardess, about getting on a plane. She also reminded me of the one piece of advice she gave me for blending in: If anyone asked why I was coming to America, I should say I was going to Disneyland. 我母亲告诉

By JOSE ANTonIO VARGAS
Published: June 22, 2011


One August morning nearly two decades ago, my mother woke me and put me in a cab. She handed me a jacket. “Baka malamig doon” were among the few words she said. (“It might be cold there.”) When I arrived at the Philippines’ Ninoy Aquino International Airport with her, my aunt and a family friend, I was introduced to a man I’d never seen. They told me he was my uncle. He held my hand as I boarded an airplane for the first time. It was 1993, and I was 12.
大约20年前的一个8月清晨,母亲把我摇醒送上车,塞给我一件外套,叮嘱道“那边可能会很冷。”她和婶姨以及我们的一个家族朋友把我带到菲律宾尼诺阿奎诺国际机场,并把我介绍给一个陌生人,说是我叔叔。叔叔牵着我的手登机,这是我平生第一次坐上大飞机。那是1993年,我12岁。


My mother wanted to give me a better life, so she sent me thousands of miles away to live with her parents in America — my grandfather (Lolo in Tagalog) and grandmother (Lola). After I arrived in Mountain View, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay Area, I entered sixth grade and quickly grew to love my new home, family and culture. I discovered a passion for language, though it was hard to learn the difference between formal English and American slang. One of my early memories is of a freckled kid in middle school asking me, “What'sup ? ” I replied, “The sky,” and he and a couple of other kids laughed. I won the eighth-grade spelling bee by memorizing words I couldn’t properly pronounce. (The winning word was “indefatigable.”)
母亲想给我一个更好的生活,所以她把我送到万里之外的美国,去和她父母,也就是我爷爷(Lolo)和奶奶(Lola)同住。于是我来到了旧金山的山景城,在那边读6年纪,并很快的爱上了我的新屋子,新家庭和新文化。尽管分不清标准英语和美国俚语,但我发现我对语言非常着迷。我还记得当年有个满脸雀斑的中学生在跟我打招呼时说,“干哈啊?”(直译:上面是啥),我回他,“是天啊”,他和其他孩子大笑。后来我还赢得过8年纪的拼写比赛,很多词我都念不准,但都知道怎么拼。(决定胜负的最后一个单词是“不屈不饶”。)


One day when I was 16, I rode my bike to the nearby D.M.V. office to get my driver’s permit. Some of my friends already had their licenses, so I figured it was time. But when I handed the clerk my green card as proof of U.S. residency, she flipped it around, examining it. “This is fake,” she whispered. “Don’t come back here again.”
16岁那年,我骑着自行车到附近的DMV办公室取驾照。当时朋友中有很多已经有驾照了,所以我觉得也是时候了。但是,当我把我的绿卡交给办事员以证明我是美国居民时,她把绿卡翻来覆去的检查着。“这是假的,”她说“别再来了。”


Confused and scared, I pedaled home and confronted Lolo. I remember him sitting in the garage, cutting coupons. I dropped my bike and ran over to him, showing him the green card. “Peke ba ito?” I asked in Tagalog. (“Is this fake?”) My grandparents were naturalized American citizens — he worked as a security guard, she as a food server — and they had begun supporting my mother and me financially when I was 3, after my father’s wandering eye and inability to properly provide for us led to my parents’ separation. Lolo was a proud man, and I saw the shame on his face as he told me he purchased the card, along with other fake documents, for me. “Don’t show it to other people,” he warned.
我感到既苦恼又害怕,踏上自行车回家质问爷爷。我记得他当时在车库里坐着剪购物卷。我把自行车一摔,跑过去把绿卡伸到他眼前,“这是假的吗?”我用Tagalog语问他。我的爷爷奶奶是个土生土长的美国人——爷爷是保全,奶奶是全职主妇——从我3岁时起就开始资助我母亲和我了,当时母亲因为父亲整天游手好闲,没有能力照顾家庭而与他离了婚。爷爷是个很有自尊心的人,他脸上全是愧疚,他告诉我卡是他买的,还有其他假证件,都是为我买的。“别给别人看,”他警告到。


I decided then that I could never give anyone reason to doubt I was an American. I convinced myself that if I worked enough, if I achieved enough, I would be rewarded with citizenship. I felt I could earn it.
从那时起我决定不再给任何人理由来怀疑我是美国人。我告诉自己只要努力工作,有所成就,我就也可以获得公民身份,我能行的。


I’ve tried. Over the past 14 years, I’ve graduated from high school and college and built a career as a journalist, interviewing some of the most famous people in the country. On the surface, I’ve created a good life. I’ve lived the American dream.
我的确尝试过。在过去的14年里,我顺利的从高中和大学毕业,成为一名记者,采访过许多知名人士。表面上,我过得很好。我活在美国梦里。


But I am still an undocumented immigrant. And that means living a different kind of reality. It means going about my day in fear of being found out. It means rarely trusting people, even those closest to me, with who I really am. It means keeping my family photos in a shoebox rather than displaying them on shelves in my home, so friends don’t ask about them. It means reluctantly, even painfully, doing things I know are wrong and unlawful. And it has meant relying on a sort of 21st-century underground railroad of supporters, people who took an interest in my future and took risks for me.
但我仍旧是一名非法移民。这意味着另一种全然不同的人生现实,比如每天担心被人发现;比如不能相信他人,即使是在真实生活中与我很亲近的人;比如要把家庭照片藏在鞋盒子里,而不能放在家里的书架上展示,这样朋友来了才不会多问;比如极不情愿的,甚至非常痛苦的做一些明知道是错的和违法的事;还意味着必须依靠他人,比如那些在暗中支持我的人,他们看好我的未来,也替我冒了许多风险。


Last year I read about four students who walked from Miami to Washington to lobby for the Dream Act, a nearly decade-old immigration bill that would provide a path to legal permanent residency for young people who have been educated in this country. At the risk of deportation — the Obama administration has deported almost 800,000 people in the last two years — they are speaking out. Their courage has inspired me.
去年我获悉有四名学生从迈阿密出发,前往华盛顿游说所谓的梦想法案。该移民法案出台已将近10年,旨在为那些在美国接受教育的年轻人提供合法的永久居住权。冒着被驱逐出境的风险——奥巴马政府在过去两年内已经驱逐了近80万人——他们要发出自己的声音。他们的勇气鼓舞了我。


There are believed to be 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. We’re not always who you think we are. Some pick your strawberries or care for your children. Some are in high school or college. And some, it turns out, write news articles you might read. I grew up here. This is my home. Yet even though I think of myself as an American and consider America my country, my country doesn’t think of me as one of its own.
据估计,全美大约有1千1百万名非法移民。我们有时并不是你平时所认识的那个人。我们有些人跟你一起摘过草莓或帮你照看过孩子。有些人在上高中或大学。还有些人,后来,在写你所读多的新闻报道。我在这里长大,这里是我的家。但尽管我觉得自己是美国人,把美国当成自己的祖国,但我的祖国并不这么看。

My first challenge was the language. Though I learned English in the Philippines, I wanted to lose my accent. During high school, I spent hours at a time watching television (especially “Frasier,” “Home Improvement” and reruns of “The Golden Girls”) and movies (from “Goodfellas” to “Anne of Green Gables”), pausing the VHS to try to copy how various characters enunciated their words. At the local library, I read magazines, books and newspapers — anything to learn how to write better. Kathy Dewar, my high-school English teacher, introduced me to journalism. From the moment I wrote my first article for the student paper, I convinced myself that having my name in print — writing in English, interviewing Americans — validated my presence here.
语言是我遇到的第一个挑战。尽管我在菲律宾学过英语,但我想把口音改掉。在上高中时,我曾经一次要看好几个小时的电视(尤其是“欢乐一家亲”,“家具装饰”这样的节目,还有“黄金女郎”的重播)和电影(“好家伙”到“清秀佳人”),然后按暂停键,试着模仿不同角色说话。我还会去图书馆看报刊杂志和各种书籍——任何能提高写作能力的读物都看。我的高中英语老师——凯斯则让我接触到了记者这一行当。当我第一次为学生报纸撰稿时,我告诉自己,能在出版物上署名——用英语写文章,还采访美国人——可以让我在这里的存在变得合法起来。


The debates over “illegal aliens” intensified my anxieties. In 1994, only a year after my flight from the Philippines, Gov. Pete Wilson was re-elected in part because of his support for Proposition 187, which prohibited undocumented immigrants from attending public school and accessing other services. (A federal court later found the law unconstitutional.) After my encounter at the D.M.V. in 1997, I grew more aware of anti-immigrant sentiments and stereotypes: they don’t want to assimilate, they are a drain on society. They’re not talking about me, I would tell myself. I have something to contribute.
关于“非法外国移民”的辩论加剧了我的担忧。1994年,也就是我从菲律宾到美国后刚过一年,皮特威尔逊就因公开支持187提案而被重选入党,该提案禁止非法移民去公共学校上学,其他一些权益也同被禁止。(一联邦法院后来发现该提案不符合宪法。)在1997年DMV的驾照事件后,我更加认识到了所谓的反移民情绪和观念:那些移民不想被同化,他们只是社会负累。但我告诉自己,这不是在说我。我是(可以对社会)有贡献的人。


To do that, I had to work — and for that, I needed a Social Security number. Fortunately, my grandfather had already managed to get one for me. Lolo had always taken care of everyone in the family. He and my grandmother emigrated legally in 1984 from Zambales, a province in the Philippines of rice fields and bamboo houses­, following Lolo’s sister, who married a Filipino-American serving in the American military. She petitioned for her brother and his wife to join her. When they got here, Lolo petitioned for his two children — my mother and her younger brother — to follow them. But instead of mentioning that my mother was a married woman, he listed her as single. Legal residents can’t petition for their married children. Besides, Lolo didn’t care for my father. He didn’t want him coming here too.
要做到这点,我必须工作——为此,我需要一个社保号。幸运的是,我爷爷已经帮我弄到了一个。他总是在照顾着家里的每一个人。他和奶奶是1984年跟着他的姐姐从菲律宾的赞布勒省,这个盛产大米和竹屋的地方合法移民到美国来的。爷爷的姐姐当时嫁给了一个菲裔美国军人。她为自己的弟弟和弟媳申请亲属移民。当他们到美国后,爷爷又申请让他的两个孩子——我母亲和她弟弟——也过来。但当时爷爷填表时没有写母亲已婚,而是填了单身。因为居民不得为已婚子女申请亲属移民。另外,爷爷并不管我父亲,不想让他也跟过来。


But soon Lolo grew nervous that the immigration authorities reviewing the petition would discover my mother was married, thus derailing not only her chances of coming here but those of my uncle as well. So he withdrew her petition. After my uncle came to America legally in 1991, Lolo tried to get my mother here through a tourist visa, but she wasn’t able to obtain one. That’s when she decided to send me. My mother told me later that she figured she would follow me soon. She never did.
但是不久,爷爷开始担心移民局审查申请时会发现我母亲其实已婚,这不但会毁掉她来美国的机会,连我舅舅也来不成了。因此他退回了申请。舅舅1991年移居美国后,爷爷还试图通过旅游签让母亲过来,但还是申请不下来。也就是在那时,母亲决定让我过去。她后来告诉我,她很快也会过来跟我团聚的。但她从没来过。


The “uncle” who brought me here turned out to be a coyote, not a relative, my grandfather later explained. Lolo scraped together enough money — I eventually learned it was $4,500, a huge sum for him — to pay him to smuggle me here under a fake name and fake passport. (I never saw the passport again after the flight and have always assumed that the coyote kept it.) After I arrived in America, Lolo obtained a new fake Filipino passport, in my real name this time, adorned with a fake student visa, in addition to the fraudulent green card.
把我带过来的那位“叔叔”其实是人蛇,不是我亲戚。这是爷爷后来才跟我讲的。他攒够了钱——我最后才知道是4千5百刀,对他来说是很大一笔数目了——就交给了那个人,请他把我偷渡到美国来,用假的姓名,假的护照。(下飞机后我就再没见过那本护照,我一直认为是那个人蛇扣下了。)到美国后,爷爷帮我弄了一个新的假菲裔护照,这次是用我的真名,同时还有一个假的学生签证,及伪造的绿卡。


Using the fake passport, we went to the local Social Security Administration office and applied for a Social Security number and card. It was, I remember, a quick visit. When the card came in the mail, it had my full, real name, but it also clearly stated: “Valid for work only with I.N.S. authorization.”
我们用假的护照,到当地社保局申请社保号和社保卡。我还记得,我们当时进出很迅速。社保卡是邮寄过来的,上边有我真实的全名,但也清楚的写着:“仅在移民局授权许可后,方可工作。”


When I began looking for work, a short time after the D.M.V. incident, my grandfather and I took the Social Security card to Kinko’s, wher he covered the “I.N.S. authorization” text with a sliver of white tape. We then made photocopies of the card. At a glance, at least, the copies would look like copies of a regular, unrestricted Social Security card.
DMV驾照事件后我开始找工作,爷爷和我带着社保卡去找金科他们家,金科会用一种银白色胶条把卡上的“移民局授权许可”字样遮盖掉。然后影印副本。咋一看,副本跟一般的非限制社保卡差不多。


Lolo always imagined I would work the kind of low-paying jobs that undocumented people often take. (once I married an American, he said, I would get my real papers, and everything would be fine.) But even menial jobs require documents, so he and I hoped the doctored card would work for now. The more documents I had, he said, the better.
爷爷一直觉得我会像其他非法移民一样从事低薪工作。(他说,只要我一结婚,就可以获得真证件,一切就都会好起来。)但即使是当杂役也需要证件,所以他和我当时只能寄希望于那个改动过的社保卡能有用。他说,我的证件越多越好。


While in high school, I worked part time at Subway, then at the front desk of the local Y.M.C.A., then at a tennis club, until I landed an unpaid internship at The Mountain View Voice, my hometown newspaper. First I brought coffee and helped around the office; eventually I began covering city-hall meetings and other assignments for pay.
我在上高中时便开始打工,先在地铁里,然后当地YMCA(基督教青年会,当年就是这个协会发明了现代排球)前台,网球俱乐部,直到我在家乡的报社,山景之音,找到一份无薪实习。一开始我只是帮人买咖啡,打打下手,后来我开始负责报道市政厅的会议和其他有薪酬的工作。


For more than a decade of getting part-time and full-time jobs, employers have rarely asked to check my original Social Security card. When they did, I showed the photocopied version, which they accepted. Over time, I also began checking the citizenship box on my federal I-9 employment eligibility forms. (Claiming full citizenship was actually easier than declaring permanent resident “green card” status, which would have required me to provide an alien registration number.)
因为有10年多的兼职和全职工作经历,雇主一般不会要求检查我的社保卡。他们要查时,我就给他们看影印本,也能过关。另外,我也开始检查我的1-9号雇佣资格审核表的公民权益一栏(声称自己有完全公民权,就不用再提交外国人登记号了,这比说自己有永久居住“绿卡”还要方便。)


This deceit never got easier. The more I did it, the more I felt like an impostor, the more guilt I carried — and the more I worried that I would get caught. But I kept doing it. I needed to live and survive on my own, and I decided this was the way.
这种欺诈再简单不过。我做的越多,越觉得自己像骗子,越觉得内疚——也越担心会被抓住。但我还是继续这么做,我需要生活,要靠自己生存下去,只能决定这么干了。


Mountain View High School became my second home. I was elected to represent my school at school-board meetings, which gave me the chance to meet and befriend Rich Fischer, the superintendent for our school district. I joined the speech and debate team, acted in school plays and eventually became co-editor of The Oracle, the student newspaper. That drew the attention of my principal, Pat Hyland. “You’re at school just as much as I am,” she told me. Pat and Rich would soon become mentors, and over time, almost surrogate parents for me.
山景高中成了我的第二个家。我被选为学校代表,参加校董会,这让我结识了我们校区的院长理查费舍尔。我参加了演讲组和辩论队,在学校表演话剧,最后还成为学生报纸,The Oracle的联合编辑。这引起了校长派特海兰德的关注,“你在学校的时间几乎跟我一样多,”她对我说。派特和理查很快成了我的导师,课余时间更几乎是我的代理父母。


After a choir rehearsal during my junior year, Jill Denny, the choir director, told me she was considering a Japan trip for our singing group. I told her I couldn’t afford it, but she said we’d figure out a way. I hesitated, and then decided to tell her the truth. “It’s not really the money,” I remember saying. “I don’t have the right passport.” When she assured me we’d get the proper documents, I finally told her. “I can’t get the right passport,” I said. “I’m not supposed to be here.”
高一时,合唱团团长吉尔丹尼告诉我,正考虑在彩排结束后带我们去日本演出。我说我没钱去,但她说她会想办法。我犹豫了,然后决定告诉她真相。“其实不是钱的问题,”我还记得是这么说的,“我没有有效护照。”当她向我保证会取得有效证件时,我终于忍不住告诉她,“我拿不到有效护照,”我说,“我根本就不应该在这里。”


She understood. So the choir toured Hawaii instead, with me in tow. (Mrs. Denny and I spoke a couple of months ago, and she told me she hadn’t wanted to leave any student behind.)
她明白了。于是合唱团改道去了夏威夷,我也随队出行。(丹尼女士和我几个月前谈过,她说她不想让任何一个学生掉队。)


Later that school year, my history class watched a documentary on Harvey Milk, the openly gay San Francisco city official who was assassinated. This was 1999, just six months after Matthew Shepard’s body was found tied to a fence in Wyoming. During the discussion, I raised my hand and said something like: “I’m sorry Harvey Milk got killed for being gay. . . . I’ve been meaning to say this. . . . I’m gay.”
后来,在同一年,我们在历史课上观看了哈维米尔克的纪录片,他是一名公开同志身份的旧金山市政厅公务员,于1999年被暗杀。事情就发生在马修谢巴德的尸体被发现的半年后,当时马修被捆绑在怀俄明某处的篱笆上。在课堂讨论时,我举手说了如下的话:“哈维被杀仅是因为他是同志,我为此感到难过……我想说的是……我是同志。”


I hadn’t planned on coming out that morning, though I had known that I was gay for several years. With that announcement, I became the only openly gay student at school, and it caused turmoil with my grandparents. Lolo kicked me out of the house for a few weeks. Though we eventually reconciled, I had disappointed him on two fronts. First, as a Catholic, he considered homosexuality a sin and was embarrassed about having “ang apo na bakla” (“a grandson who is gay”). Even worse, I was making matters more difficult for myself, he said. I needed to marry an American woman in order to gain a green card.
我并没想到要在那天早上出柜,尽管我早已知道自己是同志。那以后,我成了学校了唯一公开身份的同志,这也给爷爷带来了困扰。爷爷把我赶出家门长达几周。尽管最终我们和好,但我在两件事情上还是让他失望了。第一件就是,作为天主教教徒,同性恋是有罪的,“孙子是同志”是件不光彩的事。他还说,更糟的是,我把自己的处境变得更难了,我是需要与一名美国女人结婚才能获得绿卡的。


Tough as it was, coming out about being gay seemed less daunting than coming out about my legal status. I kept my other secret mostly hidden.
尽管如此,承认自己的同志身份似乎比承认自己的法律身份要容易一点。我把另外这个秘密深藏起来。


While my classmates awaited their college acceptance letters, I hoped to get a full-time job at The Mountain View Voice after graduation. It’s not that I didn’t want to go to college, but I couldn’t apply for state and federal financial aid. Without that, my family couldn’t afford to send me.
当同学们在等大学通知书时,我在期盼着毕业后能在"山景之音"全职工作。不是我不想上大学,是我没法申请国家或州政府的财务补助。没有补助,家里供不起我上大学。


But when I finally told Pat and Rich about my immigration “problem” — as we called it from then on — they helped me look for a solution. At first, they even wondered if one of them could adopt me and fix the situation that way, but a lawyer Rich consulted told him it wouldn’t change my legal status because I was too old. Eventually they connected me to a new scholarship fund for high-potential students who were usually the first in their families to attend college. Most important, the fund was not concerned with immigration status. I was among the first recipients, with the scholarship covering tuition, lodging, books and other expenses for my studies at San Francisco State University.
但当我最终向派特和理查坦承我的移民“问题”后——我们之后都用“问题”这两个字——他们一起帮我找解决办法。起初,他们甚至想通过领养我来改变情况,但律师告诉理查,这样改变不了我的法律身份,因为我年纪太大。最后,他们帮我联系到一家新成立的奖学金基金,该基金旨在帮助那些家庭里第一个上大学的有天赋的学生。最重要的是,这个奖学金是不考虑移民身份问题的。我成了该基金的首批获益者之一,它帮我支付了旧金山国立大学的学费,住宿费,书本和其他开销。


As a college freshman, I found a job working part time at The San Francisco Chronicle, wher I sorted mail and wrote some freelance articles. My ambition was to get a reporting job, so I embarked on a series of internships. First I landed at The Philadelphia Daily News, in the summer of 2001, wher I covered a drive-by shooting and the wedding of the 76ers star Allen Iverson. Using those articles, I applied to The Seattle Times and got an internship for the following summer.
大学第一年,我在《旧金山记事》杂志社找到一份兼职工作,帮人分发邮件,顺带写些文章。我的目标是成为报道记者,因此我做过许多实习工作。首先是在费城日报,那是2001年夏天,我报道了一起飞车枪击案,还有76人队的明星球员亚伦艾弗森的婚礼。凭着这些文章,我那年夏天又继续申请到《西雅图时代》实习。


But then my lack of proper documents became a problem again. The Times’s recruiter, Pat Foote, asked all incoming interns to bring certain paperwork on their first day: a birth certificate, or a passport, or a driver’s license plus an original Social Security card. I panicked, thinking my documents wouldn’t pass muster. So before starting the job, I called Pat and told her about my legal status. After consulting with management, she called me back with the answer I feared: I couldn’t do the internship.
但我的证件问题又出现了。《西雅图时代》的招聘人员福特,让所有实习生在进公司第一天就要带齐相关证件:出生证明,或护照,或驾照以及社保卡原件。我害怕了,想到我的证件这回是过不了关了。于是在工作开始前,我给福特打了个电话,告诉她我的法律身法。在咨询过管理层后,她给我回了电话,她的回复也是我所害怕那个:我不能进去实习。


This was devastating. What good was college if I couldn’t then pursue the career I wanted? I decided then that if I was to succeed in a profession that is all about truth-telling, I couldn’t tell the truth about myself.
这真是灾难啊。如果我没法获得我想要的工作,那上大学有什么用呢?于是我决定,如果我要在这个说真话的行当里成功,我就不能说出关于自己的真话。


After this episode, Jim Strand, the venture capitalist who sponsored my scholarship, offered to pay for an immigration lawyer. Rich and I went to meet her in San Francisco’s financial district.
在这段插曲之后,吉姆斯特兰德,支付我的奖学金的风投投资人为我请了一名移民律师。理查和我一起在旧金山的财务区与她会面。


I was hopeful. This was in early 2002, shortly after Senators Orrin Hatch, the Utah Republican, and Dick Durbin, the Illinois Democrat, introduced the Dream Act — Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors. It seemed like the legislative version of what I’d told myself: If I work hard and contribute, things will work out.
我重新燃起了希望。那是2002年初,犹他州共和党员,也是国会议员的奥林哈切,和伊利诺伊州民主党员迪克德宾刚刚提出了梦想法案——关于外籍少数族群的发展,解禁和教育。该法案就像是为我量身定做的。如果我努力工作,有所贡献,就一定能成功。


But the meeting left me crushed. My only solution, the lawyer said, was to go back to the Philippines and accept a 10-year ban before I could apply to return legally.
但那次会面让我崩溃了。律师说,我唯一的解决办法就是返回菲律宾,而且要在10年禁期后才能重新申请回美国。


If Rich was discouraged, he hid it well. “Put this problem on a shelf,” he told me. “Compartmentalize it. Keep going.”
如果理查当时也被打击到了的话,那他掩藏的很好。他对我说“把这问题先搁置一边,不管它,继续走下去。”

And I did. For the summer of 2003, I applied for internships across the country. Several newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe and The Chicago Tribune, expressed interest. But when The Washington Post offered me a spot, I knew wher I would go. And this time, I had no intention of acknowledging my “problem.”
我照做了。2003年的夏天,我找遍全美国的实习机会。其中有一些报社,包括华尔街日报,波斯顿全球报和芝加哥论坛报都对我表示了兴趣。但当华盛顿邮报向我伸出橄榄枝时,我知道我该去哪了。这一次,我不打算坦白我的“问题”。


The Post internship posed a tricky obstacle: It required a driver’s license. (After my close call at the California D.M.V., I’d never gotten one.) So I spent an afternoon at The Mountain View Public Library, studying various states’ requirements. Oregon was among the most welcoming — and it was just a few hours’ drive north.
邮报的实习其实也有一个不小的障碍:它要求有驾照。(我给芝加哥DMV打过电话,他们说我是拿不到驾照的。)于是我花了一下午时间,在山景公共图书馆研究各州法规。发现俄勒冈州是最开放的——而且离这仅几个小时的车程。


Again, my support network came through. A friend’s father lived in Portland, and he allowed me to use his address as proof of residency. Pat, Rich and Rich’s longtime assistant, Mary Moore, sent letters to me at that address. Rich taught me how to do three-point turns in a parking lot, and a friend accompanied me to Portland.
我背后的支持网又一次发挥了作用。一个朋友的父亲住在波特兰,答应让我用他的住址做居住证明。派特,理查和理查的长期助理玛丽摩尔,用那个地址给我寄信。理查还教我停进车位三要点,还有一个朋友陪我去了波特兰。


The license meant everything to me — it would let me drive, fly and work. But my grandparents worried about the Portland trip and the Washington internship. While Lola offered daily prayers so that I would not get caught, Lolo told me that I was dreaming too big, risking too much.
驾照就是我的一切——它让我可以开车,搭飞机和工作。但爷爷对我去波特兰和到华盛顿实习表示担心。奶奶则每天为我祈祷,希望我不要被抓住。爷爷说我梦想得到的太多,风险太大了。


I was determined to pursue my ambitions. I was 22, I told them, responsible for my own actions. But this was different from Lolo’s driving a confused teenager to Kinko’s. I knew what I was doing now, and I knew it wasn’t right. But what was I supposed to do?
而我已经下定决心去实现理想。我当时22岁,我告诉他们,我可以自己对自己负责。但这跟过去爷爷把懵懂的我,开车送到金科家是两回事。我知道我在做什么,我知道它不对,但我还能怎么办呢?


I was paying state and federal taxes, but I was using an invalid Social Security card and writing false information on my employment forms. But that seemed better than depending on my grandparents or on Pat, Rich and Jim — or returning to a country I barely remembered. I convinced myself all would be O.K. if I lived up to the qualities of a “citizen”: hard work, self-reliance, love of my country.
我缴纳国家和州的税款,但我用的非法社保卡,雇佣卡上的信息也是假的。可是,这也比依靠爷爷奶奶,或派特,理查和吉姆,——或回到一个我已经记不清的国家——要好的多。我对自己说,只要努力成为一个合格的“公民”:努力工作,自食其力,热爱国家,那么一切都会OK的。


At the D.M.V. in Portland, I arrived with my photocopied Social Security card, my college I.D., a pay stub from The San Francisco Chronicle and my proof of state residence — the letters to the Portland address that my support network had sent. It worked. My license, issued in 2003, was set to expire eight years later, on my 30th birthday, on Feb. 3, 2011. I had eight years to succeed professionally, and to hope that some sort of immigration reform would pass in the meantime and allow me to stay.
我带着影印的社保卡,大学证,《旧金山记事》的工资卡,以及居住证明——寄往我在波特兰的假地址的那些信件,到了波特兰的DMV。成功了。我的驾照,2003年签发,8年后也就是2011年2月3日我30岁生日时到期。我有8年事件干事业,并期待着这期间移民法能进行某些改革,让我得以继续留下来。


It seemed like all the time in the world.
当时,感觉就像得到了全世界。


My summer in Washington was exhilarating. I was intimidated to be in a major newsroom but was assigned a mentor — Peter Perl, a veteran magazine writer — to help me navigate it. A few weeks into the internship, he printed out one of my articles, about a guy who recovered a long-lost wallet, circled the first two paragraphs and left it on my desk. “Great eye for details — awesome!” he wrote. Though I didn’t know it then, Peter would become one more member of my network.
在华盛顿的那个夏天是激动人心的。我被迫坐到一间大的新闻室里,但也有了一名导师——皮特,一名资深的杂志作家——来指导我的操作。在实习的几周里,他打印过我写的一篇失主找回丢失已久的钱包的报道,圈起了前两段并放在我的桌子上。他在上边写到“细节精准——太棒了!”当时我并不知道,皮特也会成为我关系网中的一员。


At the end of the summer, I returned to The San Francisco Chronicle. My plan was to finish school — I was now a senior — while I worked for The Chronicle as a reporter for the city desk. But when The Post beckoned again, offering me a full-time, two-year paid internship that I could start when I graduated in June 2004, it was too tempting to pass up. I moved back to Washington.
夏天结束时,我回到了《旧金山纪事》。我打算一边完成学业——我已经上大四了——一边在《旧金山纪事》做地方新闻记者。而邮报再次向召我回去,他们给我提供了一份全职的,2年带薪实习工作,而且可以等我2004年毕业后才开始。这是一次不容错过的机会,我于是搬回了华盛顿。


about four months into my job as a reporter for The Post, I began feeling increasingly paranoid, as if I had “illegal immigrant” tattooed on my forehead — and in Washington, of all places, wher the debates over immigration seemed never-ending. I was so eager to prove myself that I feared I was annoying some colleagues and editors — and worried that any one of these professional journalists could discover my secret. The anxiety was nearly paralyzing. I decided I had to tell one of the higher-ups about my situation. I turned to Peter.
在邮报工作的前四个月,我开始变得多疑,仿佛“非法移民”这几个字就刺在我的额头上——而在所有地方中,华盛顿的关于移民的讨论最为激烈,似乎是永无休止。我是如此渴望证明自己,以至于可能引起了一些同事和编辑的不满——因此担心这些专业记者会抓住我的秘密。这种担心几乎让我无法工作,我决定向某一位上级坦白。我找到了皮特。


By this time, Peter, who still works at The Post, had become part of management as the paper’s director of newsroom training and professional development. One afternoon in late October, we walked a couple of blocks to Lafayette Square, across from the White House. Over some 20 minutes, sitting on a bench, I told him everything: the Social Security card, the driver’s license, Pat and Rich, my family.
此时,皮特还在邮报工作,他已经位居管理层,作为报社总监负责新闻室的培训及职业发展。在10月的一个下午,我们一起步行至拉菲特广场,途径白宫。我们坐在长椅上,大约过了20分钟,我将一切告诉了他:社保卡,驾照,派特和理查,还有我的家庭。


Peter was shocked. “I understand you 100 times better now,” he said. He told me that I had done the right thing by telling him, and that it was now our shared problem. He said he didn’t want to do anything about it just yet. I had just been hired, he said, and I needed to prove myself. “When you’ve done enough,” he said, “we’ll tell Don and Len together.” (Don Graham is the chairman of The Washington Post Company; Leonard Downie Jr. was then the paper’s executive editor.) A month later, I spent my first Thanksgiving in Washington with Peter and his family.
皮特很震惊,他说“我现在更理解你了。”他告诉我把事情告诉他是对的,那成了我们之间共同分担的问题。他说他还不想对此做任何处理,毕竟我刚被聘用,需要证明自己。“当你做得足够好时,”他继续说,“我会一并告诉丹和里恩的。”(丹是华盛顿邮报公司的主席,里恩是报社的执行编辑。)一个月后,我与皮特及其家人度过了我在华盛顿的第一个感恩节。


In the five years that followed, I did my best to “do enough.” I was promoted to staff writer, reported on video-game culture, wrote a series on Washington’s H.I.V./AIDS epidemic and covered the role of technology and social media in the 2008 presidential race. I visited the White House, wher I interviewed senior aides and covered a state dinner — and gave the Secret Service the Social Security number I obtained with false documents.
在接下来的5年里,我尽可能的做到“足够好。”我被提升为特派记者,报道视频游戏文化,撰写华盛顿的H.I.V./AIDS疫情的系列报道,和2008年总统大选时的科技与社会媒体的角色相关文章。我还进白宫采访了高级幕僚,并报道了国宴——我给美国特工处出示的社保号,还是我用伪证件拿到的。


I did my best to steer clear of reporting on immigration policy but couldn’t always avoid it. On two occasions, I wrote about Hillary Clinton’s position on driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants. I also wrote an article about Senator Mel Martinez of Florida, then the chairman of the Republican National Committee, who was defending his party’s stance toward Latinos after only one Republican presidential candidate — John McCain, the co-author of a failed immigration bill — agreed to participate in a debate sponsored by Univision, the Spanish-language network.
我尽量避免涉及移民政策的报道,但总有躲不过的时候。这种时候有两次,一次是报道希拉里在非法移民的驾照问题上的态度立场。还有一次是关于佛罗里达州议员梅尔马蒂内兹,也就是后来的共和党主席,他当时在为共和党关于拉美裔族群的立场进行辩护。辩护对象是民主党主席候选人——约翰麦凯恩,也就是被废除的移民法案的联合作者——当时他同意参加的这场辩论是由美国西班牙语电视网发起的。


It was an odd sort of dance: I was trying to stand out in a highly competitive newsroom, yet I was terrified that if I stood out too much, I’d invite unwanted scrutiny. I tried to compartmentalize my fears, distract myself by reporting on the lives of other people, but there was no escaping the central conflict in my life. Maintaining a deception for so long distorts your sense of self. You start wondering who you’ve become, and why.
这很古怪:我一方面在竞争激烈的新闻室竭力突显自己,又担心太招摇而招致不必要的关注。我试着搁置恐惧,通过报道他人的生活来转移自己的注意力,但始终逃脱不掉我生活中的核心矛盾。持续的自我欺骗会扭曲你对自我的认知。你开始困惑自己变成了谁,为什么。


In April 2008, I was part of a Post team that won a Pulitzer Prize for the paper’s coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings a year earlier. Lolo died a year earlier, so it was Lola who called me the day of the announcement. The first thing she said was, “Anong mangyayari kung malaman ng mga tao?”
2008年,我作为报道一年前的弗吉尼亚枪击事件的邮报团队一员,获得了普利策奖。爷爷一年前去世了,所以是奶奶在获奖公布的那天给我打的电话。她说的第一件事就是,“Anong mangyayari kung malaman ng mga tao?”


What will happen if people find out?
“人们要是发现了怎么办?”


I couldn’t say anything. After we got off the phone, I rushed to the bathroom on the fourth floor of the newsroom, sat down on the toilet and cried.
我说不出话来。放下电话后,我冲进四楼新闻室的厕所,坐在地板上哭。


In the summer of 2009, without ever having had that follow-up talk with top Post management, I left the paper and moved to New York to join The Huffington Post. I met Arianna Huffington at a Washington Press Club Foundation dinner I was covering for The Post two years earlier, and she later recruited me to join her news site. I wanted to learn more about Web publishing, and I thought the new job would provide a useful education.
2009年夏天,我还没与邮报领导谈过便离开了报社,搬到纽约加入了赫芬顿邮报(互联网第一大报)。两年前,我在华盛顿新闻俱乐部基金晚宴上做报道时遇见了阿里安娜赫芬顿,她邀请我加入她的新网站。我想学到更多网络媒体的知识,于是我想换一份新工作给自己一个学习的机会。


Still, I was apprehensive about the move: many companies were already using E-Verify, a program set up by the Department of Homeland Security that checks if prospective employees are eligible to work, and I didn’t know if my new employer was among them. But I’d been able to get jobs in other newsrooms, I figured, so I filled out the paperwork as usual and succeeded in landing on the payroll.
同样,我对这一行动还是很担忧:许多公司已经开始采用国土安全部开发的E-Verify系统,用于审查拟招聘员工是否有工作资格。我不知道我的新公司是不是也使用这一系统。但我想如果不行的话我还可以去别的报社,所以我填写了表格,然后成功地进入了公司。


While I worked at The Huffington Post, other opportunities emerged. My H.I.V./AIDS series became a documentary film called “The Other City,” which opened at the Tribeca Film Festival last year and was broadcast on Showtime. I began writing for magazines and landed a dream assignment: profiling Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg for The New Yorker.
我在赫芬顿邮报工作期间,其他机会悄然而至。我之前关于H.I.V./AIDS 的系列报道被改编成纪录片“另一座城”,上一年在翠贝卡电影节放映后还被Showtime节目报道过。我开始为杂志撰稿,并梦想着下一个目标:在《纽约客》上撰写Facebook的马克扎克伯格。


The more I achieved, the more scared and depressed I became. I was proud of my work, but there was always a cloud hanging over it, over me. My old eight-year deadline — the expiration of my Oregon driver’s license — was approaching.
我获得的越多,就越害怕越压抑。我为我的工作感到骄傲,但头顶上的乌云却一直萦绕不散。我的8年期限——俄勒冈驾照到期日——也正在逼近。


After slightly less than a year, I decided to leave The Huffington Post. In part, this was because I wanted to promote the documentary and write a book about online culture — or so I told my friends. But the real reason was, after so many years of trying to be a part of the system, of focusing all my energy on my professional life, I learned that no amount of professional success would solve my problem or ease the sense of loss and displacement I felt. I lied to a friend about why I couldn’t take a weekend trip to Mexico. Another time I concocted an excuse for why I couldn’t go on an all-expenses-paid trip to Switzerland. I have been unwilling, for years, to be in a long-term relationship because I never wanted anyone to get too close and ask too many questions. All the while, Lola’s question was stuck in my head: What will happen if people find out?
在赫芬顿邮报工作近一年后我决定离开。因为我想宣传一下自己的纪录片,写一本关于网络文化的书——至少我是这么跟朋友们解释的。但真正的原因是,经过这么多年努力的融入体制,集中所有能量进行专业工作,我发现无论事业多成功都不能解决我的问题,或减少我的失落和迷失感。我骗朋友说我周末去不了墨西哥了。连可以全程报销的瑞士之旅,我都编造借口说去不了。多年来,我都不愿与别人建立长期关系,因为我不希望任何人跟我走太近,问太多。奶奶的问题一直扎在我脑里:被别人发现了怎么办?


Early this year, just two weeks before my 30th birthday, I won a small reprieve: I obtained a driver’s license in the state of Washington. The license is valid until 2016. This offered me five more years of acceptable identification — but also five more years of fear, of lying to people I respect and institutions that trusted me, of running away from who I am.
今年早些时候,在我30岁生日两周前,我获得一次“缓刑”:我取得了华盛顿的驾照,到期日是2016。这让我的那能被社会接受的身份又可以多活5年——但也将是充满恐惧的5年,充满对我所尊敬和信任我的人的欺骗的5年,一个逃避自我的5年。


I’m done running. I’m exhausted. I don’t want that life anymore.
我受够了逃避。我好累。我不想再过那种生活了。


So I’ve decided to come forward, own up to what I’ve done, and tell my story to the best of my recollection. I’ve reached out to former bosses­ and employers and apologized for misleading them — a mix of humiliation and liberation coming with each disclosure. All the people mentioned in this article gave me permission to use their names. I’ve also talked to family and friends about my situation and am working with legal counsel to review my options. I don’t know what the consequences will be of telling my story.
所以我决定站出来,说出我所做的一切,尽可能详尽的记述自己的故事。我已经找前老板和前雇主们谈过,为欺瞒误导他们道歉——每一次坦白都交织着羞愧和解脱。我在此文中提到的所有人,都同意我使用的他们的真名。我还把自己的情况告诉给家人和朋友,并正在与法律顾问讨论我的选择权限。我并不知道将自己的故事说出来的后果会是什么。


I do know that I am grateful to my grandparents, my Lolo and Lola, for giving me the chance for a better life. I’m also grateful to my other family — the support network I found here in America — for encouraging me to pursue my dreams.
我只知道,我很感激我的爷爷奶奶,他们给了我一个获得更好的生活的机会。我同样感激我的其他家人——我在美国找到的支持我的人——是他们鼓励我追求梦想。


It’s been almost 18 years since I’ve seen my mother. Early on, I was mad at her for putting me in this position, and then mad at myself for being angry and ungrateful. By the time I got to college, we rarely spoke by phone. It became too painful; after a while it was easier to just send money to help support her and my two half-siblings. My sister, almost 2 years old when I left, is almost 20 now. I’ve never met my 14-year-old brother. I would love to see them.
我已经18年没见过我的母亲了。原本我还在气她把我置于如此境地,但过后又为自己动怒和不知感恩而后悔。在上大学前,我们几乎不通电话。因为那太痛苦了。我发现只是寄钱回去资助她和我的两个同母异父的弟妹,对我来说更容易做到。我的妹妹,我离开的时候不到两岁,现在已经快20了。我从没见过我14岁的弟弟。我很想见到他们。


Not long ago, I called my mother. I wanted to fill the gaps in my memory about that August morning so many years ago. We had never discussed it. Part of me wanted to shove the memory aside, but to write this article and face the facts of my life, I needed more details. Did I cry? Did she? Did we kiss goodbye?
不久前,我给我母亲打了电话。我想找回多年前那个8月的早晨的记忆空缺。我们从没谈过此事。我既想把这段记忆删除,又想把它写进此文中,以直面我的人生,我需要更多细节。我当时哭了吗?她哭了吗?我们有没有吻别?


My mother told me I was excited about meeting a stewardess, about getting on a plane. She also reminded me of the one piece of advice she gave me for blending in: If anyone asked why I was coming to America, I should say I was going to Disneyland.
我母亲告诉我,我当时很高兴,因为能上飞机,还能见着空姐。她还提醒我她当时教我融入当地一个方法:如果有人问我为什么来美国,我就说是奔着迪士尼来的。
 

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