Tag Archives: San Luis Potosi

19 Apr

Dreams for a Brighter Future

slp3

     On the first day of Spring of the year 1992, I was born in the city of San Luis Potosi, S.L.P., Mexico.  In 1998, when I was only 6 years old my parents decided to come to the United States based on the belief that life here would be easier and greater opportunities to prosper would be offered.

     I can barely remember the trip to the U.S. When I try to remember, it all feels like a dream. My father was already in the U.S. at that time, while my mother, little brother, and I were still in Mexico. One day my mom told us that we were finally going to meet my dad in “Los Estados Unidos”.  I was so excited because I had not seen my dad in what felt like years, but in reality was only 6 months.

     Our long journey began later that day. We took a taxi to the bus station, and then from the bus station to a city near the border. There we met with two women who were waiting for us. My mom got in the trunk and my brother and I were placed in the back seat with one of the women. They kept telling me to lie about my name when we crossed the border. At the moment I didn’t know why, but then I realized it was because I was crossing the border using someone else’s documents. After several hours of waiting in line to cross, it finally came to be our time to pass. The women told my mom to stop making any noise because we are about to cross and they reminded me of my new name I needed to tell the officer if he asks me. Luckily the officer did not ask me anything and we made it across with no problems.

     After a few hours of driving, the women left us in another city where my father was waiting.  I was so relieved to be in my father’s arms again. Our new lives started in this new country thought to be the land of opportunities. At first we lived with my uncle for a few months, then finally my parents saved up enough money to get our own apartment. Later, I was enrolled in school. It was challenging at the beginning since I did not know the language. Fortunately, the school had just started giving bilingual classes so my mother enrolled me in those classes and it got a bit easier. I soon picked up the new language, and I became one of the top students in my class.

     Three years had passed when my dad was told that he could obtain his permit through his job and that he was able to submit applications for the entire family. His employer was happy to give him the news and immediately started looking for an attorney who could help him with his case. Unfortunately, the attorney that my dad’s employer found only spoke English so my dad had to communicate through the attorney’s assistant. We thought we had been blessed with this great opportunity for all four of us to become legal.  Everything seemed like it was going great! My parents got their first house and my brother and I were super excited that we finally had a backyard we could finally run around in. My parents had a job and my brother and I were taking advantage of the great education this country could offer.

     While our applications were still pending, in 2007 my parents received their biometrics appointments, later they received their work permit and they could finally go and obtain their own social. A year later I turned working age and I told my parents I wanted to start working in order to help them, so they told the attorney to go ahead and submit my application for the work permit.  I received my work permit and with that I got my own social. Life was great, and we were no longer afraid that we were going to be caught using someone else’s information.

     Now it was the year 2010, when we finally got our last appointment with immigration, where they were going to decide if we got approved for the residency or not. My father insisted that his attorney’s office to set up appointment and consult with him on what we need to say at this appointment and they denied us the appointment and just told us to be early and we can meet with the attorney then.

     On the day of the appointment we could not find the attorney because through all these years, my dad only met with him in person, just for a few minutes about three times. It was after an hour later that we finally met with him. Luckily we had been there earlier than our appointment time so we made in just in time. We asked the attorney once again what we needed to say and he seemed like he had no idea about our case, he just told us just answer their questions truthfully.  So we went in and we answered the questions truthfully.  On one of the questions my dad was answering I saw the attorney just slam his folder and sighed. I knew at that moment my dad had answered incorrectly and things were about to take a turn for the worst. At the end the attorney told us the bad news. “You are going to face deportation!!” We were in shock!

     We kept asking him “Why?!” “What did we do?” He simply told us that if my dad had told him the truth from the beginning he would have never taken our case because we did not qualify. What the attorney originally failed to obtain from my dad was that he entered the U.S. illegally twice, that he came one time stayed for a few months went back and returned illegally once again. My dad said he had confessed all of this to the assistant but for some odd reason, was lost in translation.

     On my final year of high school I faced deportation. My dreams of going to a university and becoming an Electrical Engineer with my friends vanished. My parents were talking about returning to Mexico because they did not want to hide and be afraid of the police or getting arrested.

     I didn’t want to go to Mexico. My life was here, I grew up here, in the land of opportunity… I even asked one of my best friends if she could hide me in her house so I would not have to leave my home. At the end my parents decided to stay because they had hope that this country would one day change all these unjust immigration laws. They believed that the US would give opportunities to those immigrants with great moral character who are trying to fulfill the American dream and become legal citizens.

     That day came on June 12, 2012 when DACA was established. Although this only benefited my brother and I, my parents were overjoyed that their children could now live without the fear of deportation and that they would have the opportunity to prosper. Despite DACA, I didn’t go back to school. I now have a good job as a Legal Assistant to a criminal attorney. I have a family and finally I am making plans to buy my house and raise my children in this country that has been hard on me, but at the same time given me the opportunity to to get a great education.  I now have hope that there can be an opportunity for my parents who are still living here with fear of being deported at any time.

15 Apr

The Echoes of Many : A Story of a Mexican Immigrant

slp2

     I was born in San Luis Potosi, SLP Mexico. I came to the United States when I was 14 years old in 1978. Like many, I came here to help my family back home.
     I came here illegally. I swam across the river. It was horrible, because it was the first black ice that covered that night. I walked in the woods for 4 days and 4 nights. When I was thirsty, I would drink any source of water I would find, even if it were urine. I had nothing else to drink or eat. I had to walk during the night because that was the only time where no one could see us. I eventually made it to my destination where I would soon discover more hardship.
     I came from a big and poor family of 10 brothers and sisters. I was the third youngest out of all my brothers and sisters and the only one to come to the United States. I knew I had to come to the United States to help them out. I needed to help my father and mother to pay for the house and many other things back at home. I remember watching my mother wash our clothes on top of a rock because we didn’t have a washer, I couldn’t help but be frustrated seeing that and other things. My first goal was to buy my mother a washer and the second was to help my father with the family.
     When it was Christmas, I remember seeing my friends play with toys they got as gifts, while my family had nothing. When I got to the United States, my uncle gave me stamps to send $5 to my family, which back then equals to 3 pounds of eggs in SLP. I sent my family money every Christmas so that my mother could buy gifts for my brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, and even to buy a piñata so that she could invite the neighborhood kids over so they could have a sense of belonging. I didn’t want them to feel the way I felt as a kid to receive nothing on Christmas.
     How was it living here back then? It was hard. I came here during the worst season. It snowed a lot and I didn’t know anyone but my uncle. I didn’t know the language, I didn’t know where to go, what to do… but I told myself that if I’m here in the states I’m going to take advantage and work hard and give my family everything I couldn’t have. So, I learned the language by speaking to people because I didn’t have time to go to school, I had to work.
     I started working at a hotel washing dishes, but I only worked there for a month. I told myself I could do better so I looked at getting better positions. I moved up to housekeeping and then I told myself I could do something better and did maintenance and engineering. I then noticed that I could get better money as a banquet server so I automatically applied and worked at different hotels doing just that. It was really hard at first because of the language barrier. I remember my first task was to ask everyone if they wanted coffee and serve them. In doing this, I accidentally mistook one of my bosses as someone important and I was able to learn from that mistake. Sometimes, I had to sleep in the hotel laundry because I didn’t have any sort of transportation to make it on time the next day. It wasn’t exactly the best of times, but I knew it would all be worth it just to know that my family at home wasn’t suffering anymore.
     Inclusive, I was hit by yet another wall. When my parents passed away, I couldn’t visit their funeral or grave because if I did, I wouldn’t be able to come back. I took off work without notice because I just couldn’t handle the situation at hand. I got fired. It took me about 3 months to find another job. That’s when I started working as a cook in the grill. People around me kept telling me to apply to be manager because I had the diligence and skills to be one. However, in order to be manager, I knew they were going to ask for my documents. Everyone insisted and wanted to give me the position, but I was too afraid to take that step so I just told them I didn’t want it and give it to someone else. I knew I had to do something about my situation.
     Soon after that, I went to go see a lawyer and that lawyer told me to bring everything to see an immigration officer. When I brought everything he basically left me stranded with the immigration officer and left me $2000 less. It wasn’t until later that the lawyer I believed could solve my case was accused of robbing many other undocumented natives and making up lies in other cases. The second time I tried to get an interview with immigration I had a woman accuse me of fraud because everything the previous lawyer had been accused of was thought of being falsified on my paperwork. She made me sign paperwork stating that everything I had filled out prior to my interview was a lie. She threatened me and told me that if I didn’t sign the paperwork my family and I would have been deported. I lost all hope after this situation. What kept me going was having faith in god and knowing that everything would be okay.
     I eventually found a lawyer who believed my case could be resolved. He helped me obtain my permit and then my residency, but I sure had to suffer a lot before receiving either. I couldn’t apply to many jobs because I was “illegal” even if I knew I could do the job better than the next. I had to work as a cook, making little pay, but it was enough to survive. However, after I became legal, I started working at different places and started receiving better pay. Now, I’ve applied to be a citizen and have to wait 5 years to be able to obtain it.
     I’ve been working since I was 14… I’m now 50 and still working hard for my own kids and wife. It’s still hard because now I have my own payments to pay for by myself. The job market is hard due to so much competition. In order to keep up with my bills, I have to work many jobs. I tell my kids that if I leave anything behind it would be their education. It’s the best investment to leave them because everything else could be replaced. I know they’ll be prepared the rest of their life because they will have an education. Knowing that, working all these jobs doesn’t feel as bad.

©2014 Why We left Home. All Rights Reserved.
css.php