I’m originally from Mexico, but Indianapolis has been my home for 13 years. We came here for my mother - for her dream of owning a home. In Mexico, property is so expensive, we could have worked for our entire lives and never been able to afford a home. But here, we’ve been able to make it happen.
I’m shy. I’ve been so focused on providing for my family that I can count my friends on one hand, but they’re good ones. I am so lucky because I have two brothers who live here in Indiana, along with my mother, my husband and older sister. But my twin sister still lives in Mexico. I feel that she is always with me in my heart.
My biggest concern is the deportation of my family. That I could lose my brother at any time. I worry about his children who would remain here. Even if he took his kids with him I would worry about his children – my niece and nephew can't communicate much in Spanish.
My community is scared that I want to leave their house. They don’t want to go to the grocery store. they just go to work and to school and that’s it. They feel they don’t belong here anymore. In a few years ago they didn’t even think about it. They just lived.
If I didn’t have faith, I would have lost hope a long time ago. Every day I worry for my niece and nephew - about what they will do if their father is deported.
It is my faith that helps me keep working for a better future for my family. And working together with all kinds of people because we cannot accomplish anything alone - only when we work hard together.
The future I think my community deserves is one with opportunity. A path to citizenship would be easier. Undocumented immigrants already pay taxes - they should be able to access the benefits of a tax payer. And the future that I hope for has good health care. I really worry now that the Affordable Health Care Act is being threatened.
ON WORKING FOR CHANGE
I work for change in this community by participating in IndyCAN. We help immigrants to learn their rights and know what to do if they’re ever stopped by ICE. So many immigrants in my community are afraid to leave their homes. So we create teams throughout the community to stand together - to help educate immigrants and look out for them.
At a town hall a few weeks ago, I got to ask our Mayor some hard questions - I asked him if he was willing not to spend one dime on unconstitutional policies for the detention of immigrants. I felt much courage in that moment - that challenging my Mayor could be done. He answered well but has yet to do it.
When I asked him, people in the crowd started cheering - many Latino people, but also many from other communities. I felt that I was not alone and that many of us are working together and are here in this fight.