Immigrant folks define American morals, values


By Denis Perez, Assistant Photo Editor

I absolutely find this to be true; if the United States of America truly is the land of the free and home of the brave, then the moment my parents stepped into America, they were not stepping into anyone’s home but theirs.

My parents came here with an eternal willingness to make things better for themselves and the people around them by making a living through working honest jobs that benefit the economy and the progress of high skilled workers.

My father and mother are what makes America great.

They are men and women who can get up every morning and have a full day’s work knowing that they will have to do the same thing tomorrow and next week, next month and next year.

My parents came from a village in a rural part of Guatemala. An “aldea” in Spanish.

Although beautiful, Guatemala is a haven for violent cartels and corrupted politics. The wealth of the nation goes into the hands of the powerful and leaves the poor to suffer extreme poverty that causes the decay of the economic system

Once married and with their first born, my parents chose to not accept the choices set by the nation’s criminals and instead they searched for something better and immigrated to Mexico in the late 80s.

My parents soon were naturalized and they built a house in Chiapas, Mexico, although, conditions in Mexico became too familiar to those of Guatemala.

Because of the state of the country, my father made his first trek from Mexico to “el otro lado,” referring to the U.S back in 1994.

He went to Florida. He worked as a dishwasher. He then moved on to gardening. He observed, learned and saw what America could be for him and his family. My father had worked in sugar cane fields since he was 8. He was not able to go to school past second grade. My grandfather taught my father to use his freedom that he had as a young man to find his character.

My dad worked hard for our family. He worked hard for my mother. He knew that my mother deserved a better life, apart from her being human, because she has overcome so much.

My grandmother died when my mother was about 2 years old. My grand-stepmother was a horrible person. My mother was a victim of human trafficking as a child when her stepmother would sell her as labor to people in the market place and days later she would pick her money and my mom up.

Life with her father and stepmother were unbearable so when she was 10 she moved out and became a house servant to wealthy families.

My mother’s dream throughout her childhood was to be able to go to school, but her dream never came true. She was able to teach herself how to read. She taught herself how to write. She taught herself to be an independent women.

Both my parents, make sure I understand that hard work is the only way to get things done and getting things done is the only way to make things better. They challenge a system that shamefully degrades them into a category of criminals and silently do their jobs.

Hard working class “illegal aliens” are treated as second class citizens, but, ironically, they act as American as any American.