I am a plumber, and I am 54 years old, and I am born and raised in Guanajuato, Mexico.
Why did you come to America?
Interviewee: I came to America to give my wife and daughters better opportunities in life, I was determined to give them a life I did not have as a Teen/Young Adult. I wanted to move after I got married to my wife around the age of 19-20 and we had our first daughter in Mexico, so I wanted to give her a good life.
Who supported you when you came to America?
Interviewee: Mainly my wife did, she also wanted to give our daughter a good and stable life in the Americas, although my sisters did not want me to leave, and my brothers were proud of me to take this huge step into a new life. My parents did not want me to go, they were trying to stop me from going, although a few months later they accepted the fact that I had already made my decision to leave. As much as it pained me to leave my family behind, they knew it was a big step for me and for my future growing family.
Do you regret coming to America?
Interviewee: Yes, a little, only because I could not spend as much time as I wanted to with my parents, now that my father has passed I deeply regretted moving to America because I couldn’t visit my grieving mom and siblings, I was stuck almost isolated even though my daughters comforted me I was not accepting that my father had passed it felt almost like a dream, a dream I didn’t want to be real. So yes, I do regret coming to America for this reason, although I do not because my daughters are happy and making a good life out of living here.
Are there any challenges now since you have come to America?
Interviewee: Yes, there are many like the one I just talked about although there are more. Like my daughters dream of going to Hawaii and moving to Texas although I fear myself about going to those places since I am undocumented, I live in fear whenever I am working, driving, or just living in my house that they will deport me back to Mexico and it will ruin my life and my daughter’s life.
How is the culture difference now that you have lived in America for how long?
Interviewee: It is a dramatic difference in how things that normal back home can be are bad compared to the normal things here now. I have lived in America for almost 32 years, so changing my way of life was a struggle but was easy because I was 20-21 when I arrived with my family although with almost no money, I at once had to find a job and a roof to have over my head and my families’ heads. The culture difference was interesting I had always liked rock music and it was seemed to be more demonic and aggressive back in Mexico but here it was a normal thing to listen to. Aside from these things It was different because in Guanajuato we always walked everywhere although here we had to get a car to transport my daughter everywhere.
If you did this over again would you move to another place where to?
Interviewee: I do not think I would move anywhere else, seeing how happy and how good my daughters did grow up I would still choose moving to Santa Clara and San Jose, it might be pricey, but it seems like we did a good choice moving to this place. And I would do it over and over again. This life is already good, and it could only get better if I did better as a father and hard worker.
What advice would you give someone who is considering moving to America?
Interviewee: I would tell them to look at the benefits, and to not look back and get homesick. It gets better over time.
Interviewee was interviewed by his daughter, a high school student in the SF Bay Area.