Immigrants come for a better life 

By Giselle Maldonado 

Staff Writer

Raul and his family immigrated to the United States in May 1982 when he was 12 years old. Raul, who requested to use an alias for this article, said he came to the country for a better lifestyle.

One of the obstacles Raul and his family faced was getting visas, because they had to do a lot of paperwork. They even had to go through a physical check.

When coming to the United States, he traveled to Redwood City by car with his two younger siblings. When they arrived, he and his siblings moved in with their uncle in an apartment.

Raul found life to be better here in the United States. He said, “Although it was difficult making a new life here, it was easier than it would be in Mexico.”

He remembers a difficult childhood in Mexico. His mother was never around, and he was left to be raised by his relatives. Raul says he “never had the love of a parent.”

When Raul arrived in Redwood City, he noticed it was very different from his home in Mexico. He remarked on how back home all the buildings were old, and the roads were made of dirt. Here in the United States, the roads were paved and the buildings were much newer and nicer.

Not all of these new feelings were positive, however. In Mexico, Raul had a large ranch, he explained. “I felt free, and when I came here I lived in a small apartment and felt trapped. It felt like I was living in a box,” 

Raul often remarked about how much he misses Mexico. He said of the community back home: “I miss the community because in Mexico you know everyone, and here you don’t really know your neighbors.” He went on to say of Mexico: “There was freedom, and I felt at home.”

The process to become a U.S. citizen or permanent resident takes a long time to go through. It can take years, but, even after waiting for all of those years, there’s no guarantee that a person is going to get their citizenship or residency.


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