Interviews


Paz

English Translation:
Well my life was two parts, one that is a good, and the other that is bad. I have a 12-year-old son who is a citizen but we are not sure what is going to happen in time. I have two children. One is a citizen and the other is not. It is very hard, it’s hard because it’s hard to know that one will be able to do what he wants [in this country] that he can go anywhere he wants and my other child cannot do the same. It is hard, because as their mother I cannot separate them by what one has that the other doesn’t. I would like for both to have the same.

Yes, my husband was detained after he got out of work, for some reason he got lost because of a detour and then found themselves at a checkpoint, including other co-workers that are day laborers. They detained them there. He called me a 12:45am and that is when he told me that he along with four other co-workers who were in the car, were detained by immigration. He was detained for one week. Thanks to God we were able to get him out and he is here, but for some of his co-workers/companeros, it took a longer time to get them out. One of them was transferred to Texas, that is the only thing we know about him, we still don’t know what happened to him.

[My biggest fear] is that they will get us, that they detain us in front of my children. That they see when they hand cuff their parents. It think that would be an image that would stay with them, something they would never forget. It would be traumatizing for them.

It is very hard, it is a difficult journey. Because they tell you how many hours you are going to work, and then it is not true. And you don’t have any food, no water, it is very difficult, but most people take that risk because you really don’t know what awaits you. We try to always have positive thoughts, and a lot of us make it, but unfortunately… there are people that don’t make it.

And it is so hard.

Alex

Paty

English Translation:
From the first moment that I arrived, it was a healthy environment, a safe environment for my kids, an environment where they can grow in an environment with less violence, and with less fear, compared to where they came from.

I am a software (program) analyst. I studied after I can here. I studied English for five years. I studied more computer programming and updated my self with the latest. I feel I can have a better job, but I can’t for the moment.

Yes, I am a dishwasher at a hotel, in the restaurant at a hotel. My job is the most strenuous of all those that work there. Because everybody leaves, and at the end of the day, I am the one that has to stay to finish cleaning everything, to organize everything. If there is an event, I am the one that organizes everything. From the plates that will be used to the last spoon, the lamps, the tables, everything – with the same wage as anybody else that works for that company. It really is the hardest job.

You know you aren’t safe in Arizona. An undocumented woman in Arizona is not safe. For example, now that my daughter and I live alone,  one day I had to sit her down and ask her. “Exactly what do you want to do if I am detained” You know well that if they do, they will take me to an immigration center, and by the time that I am sent to court, go through the bond and deal with the lawyer, you would be by yourself. So I want to ask you who would you like to live with during that time? I need to make a power of attorney/notarized letter in advance to make sure who you will be with. I need to have our papers and documents in order, including the car title, jewelry is you have it. Like I told my daughter, I will leave my jewelry for you in case you need money, so someone can pawn them for you if necessary. We have some savings for the first days if this were to happen, and then we would se from there. If I don’t come home one day, don’t be afraid, because you very well know that we will see each other again.

The story that has had the greatest impression on my is the women that called to report that she had been raped. And when she called the police to report it, they asked her for a form of identification. Because she didn’t have it, they arrested her and let the perpetrator free.

Another story I know of is of the story of the mother who left a widow with five children because her husband was in the university hospital and they discharged him because he did not have money to pay for his care. And they sent him [told him to go] to Hermosillo but didn’t provide his medical records. When he arrived to Mexico they had no idea what was happening to him, so he suffered respiratory failure, followed by cardiac arrest, and he fell into a coma and then died. He left five children and his wife.

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