Yanel Garcia

January 14, 2013

There are only five days left until I embark on a memorable, educative journey. I have longed to have an opportunity to learn about immigration reform and immigrant rights in the borderline between Mexico and the United States. The reason being is that I come from a Mexican-American background, and both of my parents are immigrants from Mexico. Going to San Juan, Texas will allow me to meet and interact with Texas residents/immigrants of my same ethnic background and understand the immigration that occurs in the US-Mexico border wall.

My parents’ process of legal immigration to the United States went smoothly and appropriately. However, through my young-adult life, they shared past stories with me about friends and family coming to the United States from Mexico illegally, all in search for a better life. I have also been told stories from former classmates in high school that they witnessed US Immigration being cruel to Mexican immigrants and that they struggled to make it alive as they hitchhiked from Mexico with their families.

After being told these interesting yet heartbreaking stories, I asked myself, “What can I do to be well-informed about this social issue?” and “What can I do to promote equal rights for them?”

The moment I read through the application for ASB Texas, I knew this trip will fulfill my aspiration of knowing the lives of Mexican immigrants in other specified locations, besides my hometown Chicago, and helping them in any way to impact their lives; I simply took the “Cur Non?” initiative.

After this trip ends, I hope I return to Lafayette with the mentality that I was somehow a role model to my family and the Mexican-American community for sticking to my roots and treating immigrant rights as a topic I am devoted to.