Immigration is defined by “the action of coming to live permanently in a foreign country.” That definition is a very general way of saying it and does not explore the ways in which people may immigrate. Many people have made their way to the United States, fleeing violence and poverty in Central American countries, some by choice and others forced. There is a 17 year old teenager named Exel Estrada who came from Guatemala and grew up poor and mostly alone. He came to the U.S. when he was about 9 years old and he had no one to look up to throughout the process after his mother left him to find her own work in the U.S. His life is like no other teenager around him because of the fact that he is an immigrant. Right from school he goes to his late shift to vaccum the floors of a kindergarten class and by the time he’s finished he gets home around 11 pm.
When I compare my life with his I am so grateful for what I have and how I live. I’ve learned a lot reading about him and about a few other of teenage immigrants mostly on the East Coast and each story is different. When I think of Immigration I think of people coming into the U.S. and finally being free and living how they want to live, but it’s very different. Many come to the U.S. because they couldn’t live where their own home was either because of safety or poverty issues. When they do end up getting here most don’t have it given to them and just easy, they have to work to stay here. Working to stay in the U.S. could mean physically working, making money to support themselves, or to stay out of trouble and be a “good” citizen. Within this category there are many types of citizenships and ways to stay in the U.S. like, Visas, Green cards, and later on dual citizenship. These certain facts of the way immigration works has challenged my previous thoughts of immigration. I didn’t think it was as hard as it now seems to be and I can’t begin to imagine what many people have to go through to immigrate to the U.S.