Where were you born, what was life like in your home country?
¨I was born in Usulutan, El Salvador, in my home we were very happy, with economic limitations but very happy, outside my house we face a social reality with a shortage of work, exaggeratedly high prices in terms of food, transportation, basic services, etc. We also lived in daily insecurity due to crime, which to a certain extent was the cause of having to close our business and seeing ourselves in the need to leave our family, friends and emigrate to this country.¨ she said,
What was the status of your country at the time of your immigration?
¨High rates of violence, organized crime, extortion, unfortunately the gangs dominated, which maintained a poor economy in the country¨
What was it like when you first came to America? (home, jobs, English, etc). She started laughing when I mentioned English to her, ¨Thank God we have family that welcomed us into their home, and almost immediately we were able to work, English was difficult to communicate outside the home, I had a very hard time trying to get my daughters into school¨
¨How long have you been here?¨
5 and a half years
what was the most memorable experience on your immigration journey?
¨I think it was the opportunity to travel by plane for the first time with my entire family (husband and daughters) Thank God without risking our lives on a land trip.¨ she said.
What have been the main personal/family changes?
¨Thank God we have a job that is not hard and it pays well and we receive a fair salary. Our daughters are studying they are fluent in English, they work hard and have won prizes and we can enjoy everything that this beautiful country offers with peace of mind and security that did not exist in our country.¨
What do you miss the most from your life before you came here?
“Having our own home, the freedom to feel part of a country, our culture, my work, our family and friends that we left behind. I think that seeingall the benefits and blessings we have in this country, I think so, and we have no doubt that God’s plans were like that for us.¨
What was your reaction when you realized that you were going to move to another country?¨
¨Fear, stress and uncertainty¨.
Why the United States?
¨Because here we have family that was going to receive us.¨.
Have you ever thought about going back to the country you emigrated from and living there again?
¨Yes, due to our immigration situation and seeing that ourdaughters cannot meet their academic goals, I have thought about returning so that they can develop professionally and work on it.¨
The immigration process can often be daunting and expensive. What is your experience with this or what prevents you from fixingyour immigration documents?
¨From the moment we entered as tourists and decided to stay, we lost all option to fix papers from within the country, but we do not lose faith, that one day the necessary doors to live legally in this country will open for us. It is definitely a beautiful country with great opportunities and many benefits but unfortunately it is very difficult to gain access to permanent legal residence and thinking of my daughters I would like them if they show the ability to study and practice a profession here, they would be allowed to work of that. My decision to show myself as anonymous is because unfortunately, just as we find people who are very kind to immigrants, I also know that there are people who do not want us in this country and do everything possible to create laws that prevent us from expressing ourselves and speaking freely without fear of being deported.
The interview was done by Leslie Castillo, a high school student in San Jose.