Immigrant Stories Project

By: Laura Herrera

What did you learn from the immigrant stories presented (and others you may be aware of)? What were the major similarities and differences?

I learned from these stories that there can be benefits from immigrating, but there can also be consequences. Some similarities of these stories are that some of these people immigrated to a new country when they were very young. Another similarity is someone's opinion on immigration and what they do about it. For example, Daniel Hickey is a patrol officer at the border and arrests illegal immigrants. Time O'Hare is a mayor of a town and does not let any immigrants live in that town. These two people are similar because they are against immigration, and they do not let illegal immigrants cross their border. Some differences are that some people with the same occupations had different opinions about immigration. Some people would be for immigration, while others were against it.

What are some of the reasons people decide to leave their country of origin?

Some reasons why people decide to leave their country of origin is because of job opportunities. People wanted or needed to leave because they needed a job so that they could support their family. For example, Lazardo Garcia and his family immigrated to the United States because his family needed more money and would do seasonal work in the new country.

What are the different challenges one might experience coming to the United States as a child, teenager, and young adult? Is there an age at which it might be easier or more difficult to make such a life change?

Some challenges are that when a child or teenager immigrates into the United States, they might not have the documents they need, and this can affect their life in the future. For example, Jose Torres-Don immigrated with his family to the United States when he was 4 years old. When he grew up, he wasn't able to qualify for any of the jobs he applied for because he didn't have the documents he needed.

I think it is easier to make a life change when you are younger because it won't affect you very much. If you are older and you make a life change like that, then it will be harder for you to adjust to the new country since you are adjusted to where you lived perviously. When Lazardo Garcia and Jose Torress-Don immigrated to the United States when they were very young, they were able to make a big life change such as immigration to a new country. They were able to adapt and get used to the new country since they grew up in it.

How does immigration affect family structures? In what ways are families reunited and separated?

Immigration affects family structures a lot. Immigration can either tear away a family member from its family, or reunite them with their family. Families can be separated by a family member being deported from the country. For example, Mary Davison's husband was deported, and that affected her deeply since her son will have no father.

Some ways that families can be reunited is if one member of the family immigrates to another country and if they get enough money, the rest of the family can immigrate to where he or she is. They can also be reunited if the whole family moves together to a new country.

What are the greatest challenges for newly arrived immigrants? What are the surprises they face as they get to know their new surroundings?

One challenge people face when they are a newly arrived immigrant is language. Most of the time, when people move to a new country, they don't speak the language of that new country. Another challenge is money. These newly arrived immigrants might not have a lot of money, and it can be difficult for them to get a job. Finally, it can be very difficult for these people to immigrate to new country because they can be leaving family members behind.