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American Dreams

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Francisco Mendez
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American Dreams

Steven A. Miller

Steven A. Miller

Steven A. Miller

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Authors Thoughts:

In the United States Constitution it is started by the statement “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

We the People. Not a set divine race or ethnicity, not We the Irish, not we the French, but the People. America is not set up by the color of one’s skin, or one’s own religion. That’s why America is nicknamed the land of opportunity for so many. Because it’s not set chance for a particular culture or race but for those who call this place their home.

All stories are true, first-hand accounts of Undocumented Immigrants. They are giving their side of the story as to why they decided to uproot themselves from their home countries for the land of opportunity. *Some words may have been altered due to translation*

Things to know

  • 1 US dollar = 17.82 Mexican Pesos
  • Coyote – slang for a person who smuggles Latin Americans across the US border, typically for a high fee.

Born in Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, Mexico.  Male 33 years old.  First arrived in 2001. Has crossed the border three times. Current state of residence: Florida.

Total cost of travel (3 trips total):1,072,840.86 Pesos or 17,000 USD

I was 16 years old when I first crossed the border, my cousin and I both decided to leave Mexico. There was simply no money for us over there, we were labor workers. My family had a farm, and that’s where we made almost all of our capital, up until our father died, and soon promptly after his death that’s when we had money issues.

I had experience handling farm animals, I remember as a kid I used to run around with the chickens doing regular kid activities. At the age of 16, I had to either find someone to sell the farm animals to that we had, and if we couldn’t find a buyer, that would’ve been our food for the week.

My older sister left Mexico about two years before my father’s passing, so with a couple of phone calls and wired money, I got contact with a coyote. In Tehuantepec, since it’s so small, everyone knows everybody, and finding the right guy isn’t hard. From there, after I got in contact with the Coyote, I got a ride in an old beat-up pickup truck from Oaxaca to a town 25 miles from the US/Mexican Border.

 That’s when the preparation of my journey was about to start. We stayed in a small home where we gathered all of our supplies, such as canned goods, and spray painting black on clear water jugs, before the long walk across the desert. I don’t remember much of the walk at all. The only thing I can think of was how hot a place could get and how cold it got at night. I crossed that desert three times, only to work for a couple years to wire money for my family. I went back to Mexico three times, and those reasons were one, to marry my wife, second was to see my son being born, and third was to attend my grandfather’s funeral.

Despite the blisters on my feet, and the near times I was left behind by the group, due to the fact that I was near the point of heat exhaustion. I always remembered that there will be a spot for me here in America. My reason for why I crossed here was the wait to even talk to someone for applying for a visa would’ve taken months. When you have five other mouths to feed with earning up to 5 dollars a day (USD equivalent), you don’t have months to wait to feed a starving mouth. I did what I did to survive. I am a human trying to provide for my family.

Currently, the interviewee is a prominent cook at a high end 4.5 star rated American Restaurant as well as a father of a son, and soon a daughter.     

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Francisco Mendez, Staff Writer

First generation Mexican-American, Francisco Mendez was born in Naples, Florida, currently enrolled as a senior at Marco Island Academy. Francisco participates...

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