The other day I was driving my daughter Gracie to school. We were driving the Honda which means that we were listening to the regular radio, unlike in the Acadia where I have Sirius XM. On this particular morning, a political ad came on the radio and honestly, I couldn’t tell you who the ad was for because after I heard the words, “illegal immigrant,” I quickly tuned it out.
Why did that ad trigger me? We’ll let me tell you my story. My husband Raul, who I’ve been married to for over 25 years, first came to the United States as an illegal immigrant. At the young age of 16, he left his whole family, the only country that he’s ever known, to begin a new and better life in America. Fast forward to one hot day in June when he was 25 years old and we met each other.
I can still remember that day as if it was yesterday. He had just come back from visiting his family and I was working in the grill at the golf course. A golf course, I might add, that he worked at as well. We were introduced by a coworker and, one look at him in his muscle tank and shorts, and I was head over heels in love. We were engaged by December and married the following April. Maddie, our oldest came along later that year, but that is a story for another time.
People don’t realize that when you come from a poor country, it isn’t so easy for people to come into this country legally. And let me tell you right off the bat, that being married to an American citizen, you doesn’t mean you automatically get legal status. We went back in forth for years deciding whether or not we should spend all the money (and let me tell you, folks, it costs thousands of dollars) to become legal, but we finally made the decision to do so after our second daughter, Mikaela was born.
We had the support of amazing people (who luckily knew our congressman) who were able to help us navigate the immigration system. Y’all, I don’t think that without their help we would have been able to do all that we did. Just the paperwork in and of itself is so overwhelming.
Y’all it is so hard!!!!
So, when that political ad came on about an illegal immigrant being a criminal I mentioned it to Gracie, saying, “Why did they have to say illegal immigrants are the criminals in our society?” True, that might have been the case in that particular situation but not in all. Why portray that all illegal immigrants are criminals? Because folks, let me tell you, they are not. Most of them are like my husband, who works his ass (excuse my French) off to make sure that the girls and I have all we need and more. Most are like him in that all they want is a better life for themselves and for their families. When he came here some 30 odd years ago, he didn’t come here expecting to find a wife, as a matter of fact, he was dating someone in Mexico when we met.
That plus two other comments made in passing the last few weeks about Hispanics led me to write this post. NOT ALL ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ARE CRIMINALS. NOT ALL HISPANICS ARE CON ARTISTS AND HIRED HELP for other people. Most are hard-working men and women like my husband who want to provide a better way of life for their family.