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Rooted in the American Dream: Voices of Immigrants – Three Stories

August 26, 2013

“Rooted in the American Dream: Voices of Immigrants” is a series of immigrant stories. The phrase “Rooted in the American Dream” comes from Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech as he said his dream of racial equality is “deeply rooted in the American Dream.” Read “Towards Just & Human Immigration Reform” and see the end of the article for how Mercy works to make these dreams a reality.

A child pleading for their parents to stay in the country.

A child pleading for their parents to not be deported.

L.M.

I came to the United States to have a better life, better opportunities and to own a house for my family. We came here to find a better job for me and my husband. In Mexico it was hard to find a good job nearby with good pay. There are a lot of people in need of money in Mexico so we believe that coming here is a great opportunity. My husband has to send money to his mother.

I want to stay here because of better job opportunities, better medical help for me and my sons and better education. We fear being deported for being here with no legal documents, driving without a license and getting a ticket. This is our greatest fear because if we were to get deported our children would be here alone and we wouldn’t want them to go to Mexico because of violence, drugs and weapons. We don’t want them to grow up in that environment.

LORENA

I came to the United States eight years ago for more opportunities, better jobs and more security for my family. [Where we’re from] in Mexico, people have to leave town to find a good job and they have to leave their families behind and are not able to see them daily. [In America] my husband goes to work each morning and comes back each day. We’re able to be together as a family. Here I find better opportunities for my daughters to get a better education.

Problems I have to face here is driving around without a license and our fear of getting caught and possibly deported back to Mexico. Even though we can find jobs easier here, we are unable to find great jobs because we do not have our papers and we get paid very little and send money to our family in Mexico. We wish we could see our family in Mexico whom we haven’t seen in 8 years. We are not able to come and go without fear.

F.F.

I stay [in America] to take care of my family and for the education of my children. I have four children, all born in this country. The oldest is now 12. I also send money to Mexico for my mother’s medicine. She has diabetes and needs insulin.

My children live in fear that I will be arrested and sent back to Mexico. They are always looking out for the police.

HELP THESE FAMILIES

Throughout the country faith leaders, immigrant rights activists and concerned citizens are attending town halls, hosting prayer vigils and meeting with their representatives at their in-district offices. To build on this momentum, Mercy’s Extended Justice Team will be hosting, free roundtable discussions featuring faith and business leaders, law enforcement and representatives of the immigrant voice in three key congressional districts across the country: Cincinnati, OH on August 27; Chicago, IL on August 29; and Omaha, NE on September 3. These events are open to the media and public. Please RSVP to events@sistersofmercy.org specifying which event you plan to attend or visit the Facebook Event Page for Cincinnati (2pm and 7pm), Chicago and Omaha. Follow along on Twitter at @MercyCIR and @SistersofMercy. Join the conversation using #JustCIR.

Image: cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by Anuska Sampedro

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