I am an Immigrant
I thought hard about whether I wanted to publicly put these words out there, for anyone with internet access to read. I thought about how some people would think, “this is not the place for politics” or being viewed as just another dramatic mad woman. A *Latina woman. But then I also thought, silence is compliance, and I am a very mad Latina woman who will NOT choose to comply to the hatred.
It has taken 6 days, 6 days for my world to become full of fear and overwhelming sadness. I don’t really know how to describe it, but I have had this knot in my throat that has made it tough to swallow, getting worse with every passing day. Let me go into detail as to why.
As a child, I lived with my grandparents, who raised me until the age of 3. All while my mother, a Mexican immigrant, was working in the U.S. saving enough money to return for me and start a new life in the “Land of the Free”. I’ve always read that children at such a young age absorb everything like a sponge. From personal experience, I have to admit that I believe this to be true.
My first language was Spanish. My first dish from my grandmother was sopita de pollo. My first nickname from my grandfather was la reina. I adored them as if they were my own parents. I cannot imagine how difficult it was for my mother, a first time mother, to miss her daughter’s first steps, first words, or first fit about having to eat vegetables. Little did I know, my mother was doing all of this so that I could have a better future, and live fearlessly to do whatever I could dream of.
I am now an adult. A United States Permanent Resident with a career, an interracial relationship, speaking fluent English and Spanish, and doing everything I please. I have seen my mom struggle, count her coins, count her blessings, pick herself up, work harder, and succeed as a single mother, and as an immigrant. There will never be enough words in the world for me to use to describe how grateful I am for this woman. She embodies the true meaning of “Mexican Immigrant”.
On June 16th, 2015, a television personality formally announced his candidacy for president, shortly followed by this statement:
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They're rapists.”
My heart had never sunk deeper. Was my mother a criminal? Was I the problem that she was bringing along with her?
Today, the television personality who is now the president has signed an executive order to build a wall between both of my homes. With shaking hands and the knot in my throat getting bigger by the second, I texted my mom, “Porque nos odia tanto? Gano mama. El hombre malo gano.” (Why does he hate us so much? He won mom. The bad guy won.)
To be honest, I'm not very sure where I am headed with this. Maybe I just needed to let it all out. Maybe I just wanted to let all of my "friends" who are supportive of this television personality know that they are not my friends. They support someone who is directly telling my mother that she is not welcomed here and that I am the problem that shouldn't have been brought over. Maybe I'm just hurt, or maybe I just don't want to be silent thinking "oh that can never happen, people could never support that!"
Maybe all I wanted to really do is educate some people and spark a much needed conversation. A conversation to stop political theatre at the expense of civil liberties.
In Loving Memory of my grandmother, Modesta Partida Guzman.
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