A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Editorial, Featured

The Life of the Immigrant Student, Part I

Federico is a teenager from Mexico that came to the United States on August 19 of 2017. He traveled alone because his parents couldn’t afford to migrate with him.  Like many of us that have to leave our family in our native country, he had been through tons of difficult situations in the border of United States.

Federico said, “As the big brother of six other siblings (5 brothers and a sister), I have to work hard to lighten the financial burden for our family and also to pay for my education.  It never felt good having to bare such a heavy load as I couldn’t focus entirely on my studies which cost me my academics. It is frustrating to me as I can never find the balance, either to help my parents, to manage my siblings or to study; for a teenager, this is something super hard to tell other people.”

He then adds on, “Baring very little faith to fulfill my dream of having a better future, I arrived at the border obeying all the instructions given by the coyote. Unfortunately, the border patrols found us trying to sneak into the United States illegally. I recall the horrifying moment when two police officers shot me in the back causing me to lose consciousness. When I open my eyes a few hours later, I found myself handcuffed and locked up, spending two days confined in a place lack of food and proper sanitation. After that, the immigration department transferred me to a shelter where I met many boys who were in the same situation as me. This is where I make one of the most challenging life decision as I could only make one call! Upon deep consideration, I decided to call my parents to tell them what is happening to me; my dad came to retrieve me months later… bringing me to Mexico. Although a year has passed since the incident, my desire to cross the border and to fulfill my dream still stood strong. I managed to come in touch with a person, who was able to help me enter the United States. Fortunately, everything went smoothly.

Upon my arrival, a white car picked me up and dropped me off to an old man’s house. Immigrants flood in every single day, both documented and undocumented; the stories of their hardship were unique and emotional. Roughly a year later, I left that house and began working to make money in order survive in the Big Apple City and study in Liberty High School; all of this, to have a decent future, which I cannot get in Mexico.”

Not only Federico, but millions of people around the globe also face this situation every single day, seeking for a better future and accomplishing their goals. I believe this is a story that most of the immigrants can relate to; having to go through situations like this, earning a minimum wage while living under the radar to just have enough to secure our family and future. Many people feel entitled to criticize us just because we weren’t born in this country arguing that we don’t have the same rights, but the truth is that we are humans that want to make our big and beautiful dreams come true. Immigrants are humans too, please listen to our voice and accept us as a part of the community.