Chantel Johnson ( REALLY SHITTY DRAFT #1)
February 8, 2016
Daysi’s Immigration Story
What’s the point of leaving a place you call home? Going somewhere with no family and language barriers so large all you can do is cry and moan. Immigration according to, (Wikipedia) is the movement of people into a destination country to which they are not native or do not possess its citizenship in order to settle or reside there, especially as permanent residence or naturalized citizens, to take up employment as a migrant worker or temporarily as a foreign worker (1). For many Latina/o people (although not limited to) immigration is seen as a fighting chance. Author William Perez, who wrote the book titled Americans by Heart, would consider this the “American Dream” in the terms of education for undocumented students. He describes it as (get book and quote what he says) (Perez 32).Although, Perez’s focus is on undocumented students and education the same ideology can be used for the (typical immigrant) with hopes similar if not the same as those addressed by Perez.
THESIS: Although, immigration presents many risk, sacrifices, and social/economic inequalities the potential to gain a better life makes it all worth it (rephrase). I will demonstrate all the hardships (mentioned above) that immigrants face by telling the immigration story of my close friends mother Daysi and show how she was triumphant in the end.
Daysi Aguilar was born in Santa Ana, El Salvador in 1973. She was raised in a small home by her parents with her six other siblings (three boys and three girls), she was the youngest. When Daysi reached the 4th grade she was taken out of school by her parent, so she could help out in the house and preform housekeeping duties, while they worked to make ends meet. Her living conditions were so bad that some days all the family had to eat was tortilla with salt. In 1990 at the age of seventeen she decided to follow in two of her sibling’s footsteps — Immigration. Although, she had two siblings already successfully immigrate to the US, beginning to send money (help out in El Salvador) it wasn’t enough to keep the family living comfortably. Financial hardships are her motivation behind her leaving. Deciding to pursue immigration was serious, because of the risk being taken on the journey.
Daysi’s first attempt at immigration was a tremendous risk. She was set to ride on a boat with a group of other immigrants but, had a bad feeling and decided not to get on the boat. Later on that night she found out the boat sank and everyone on it had been killed. The news reminds her of how dangerous immigration is. After getting over the fear from the first attempt to immigrate, she decided to take another chance. Daysi’s courage to try again shows she is willing to sacrifice her life for a chance to help her family. This time she was on a greyhound bus, accompanied by 6 other migrants. The first bus ride was two days long and leads to a train ride that was 5 days long. After the train ride the leader of the group walk them to a lake so they can finally shower. She hadn’t been able to shower for an entire week.
- – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration
She was born in (Santa Ana) El Salvador in 1973.
- She didn’t go to school after the 4th grade ( because unless you had money you couldn’t go to school and was taught how to be a housewife) (young age) (dummy poor)
- At times all she had to eat was tortilla and salt/ she was in a family of nine (she had three brothers 3 sisters and two parents)
- One of her brothers (oldest ) was in the civil war, so she had to deal with death treats top the family ( she lived in Belize for to years out of fear for the families safety after army threats)
- She came in 1990 at the age of 17(WHY)=> because one sister and one brother had already came to the US and they were the only two providing for her family back in EL Salvador(Third world country) she came to help support her family financially (look for work) (she is the youngest)
- HOW SHE CAME=> she was set to leave one day on a little boat and while she was getting on the boat she had a not so good feeling this feeling caused her to not aboard the boat (stayed behind) then everyone on the boat died (this means travel was dangerous) (super sacrifice to help her family) (including her life) instead of leaving on the boat (1st attempt) she left on a bus(second attempt) she was on the bus for two days after this bus ride she got on a train for about five days ( accompanying her was about 6-8 other people) after the train (no showers at all) she had to go in a swamp and take a bath! After the train she had to walk for hours upon hours in the desert at night (she held on to the leader for safety/protection from the fears of being caught) (hold on to his shirt so she wouldn’t be left behind to die) (AVOID BEING CAUGHT) after about two days of walking (the walks consisted of shelters for immigrants to rest overnight until they could continue the walks in the morning) the two days of walking was to reach the Mexico /CAN border into the US )because it was 1990 the security wasn’t as hard to get by as it is in the present day (the actual crossing of the border wasn’t as tough as the trip to get to the border with all the fearful days away from any family ) (ALONE & THE YOUNGEST) when she arrived to the border she was driven to Texas (but the man waiting ) then caught the greyhound to Los Angeles CA(HER FINAL DESTINATION)
- As soon as she arrived she began to live with her cousin (also “illegal”) her cousin provided for her until she could get on her feet (she was provide with a job by her cousin because being illegal u are not allowed the same benefits as legal residence making it harder to find work also the fear of being deported would cause her to live a low key life style and not want to be all open) *no social security number) (she was a housekeeper)
- After she had been for some time (1 year) she moved in with her sister (also illegal) she stayed with her sister for about three years! at this point she is doing well financially (so although very hard to be away from her family she was very happy to be able to pay back her debt from immigrating (you have to pay 6,500 to come) she borrowed form people both in Salvador and LA (paying off her debt was fulfilling in the sense that her sacrifice was worth it) bitter sweet because of the hardships she faced (being alone, no English, no education, no driving<= are not allowed same public benefits )
- & meet her husband! They dated for half a year and then they moved in together (he was also an immigrant with a working permit) after a year together and saving up their money they were able to purchase a home (pops = painter) months later they had a baby GIRL ON THE WAY!
- After about 10 years & two children later BECOMING LEGAL because she wanted to be able to leave the country and see her family (very close family) and to live care free (the fear of possible being taken away at any moment! Gone / sigh/ relieve
- The process / there was a law(NACARA= Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act) for Salvadorians the Us provided them with legal residence if they stayed in the US for at least 5 years since December 1st 1995(same year of her daughter’s birth) her husband had been thru the process of becoming legal and was successful with his knowledge he was able to help her apply and successfully receive legal status her in the US! The process was very long like about over a yearlong! (requirements : proof of marriage, proof of when she came to the US, this is all just to become legal resident ) NOT A CITIZEN still not one till this day!
- After 10 years of being away from her family she was granted the biggest reward of all being able to go home! (legal res)
Her immigration was positive because she able to help them financially by sending money
SCHOOL: old enough to continue but she had no support/ no idea about college! she picked up on the English langue thru her different jobs as (housekeeper, nanny) just learning the language and being able to drive!