Global Education


By Nataly Miquilena
Published: April 2010

The way I see it, there are three types of Latino immigrants.

One type of Latino immigrant comes to the states illegally to work as much as possible. They make more money than they possibly could in their country of origin and send it back to their families.

Many illegal immigrants travel across the border between Mexico and the United States. Most of the people in this group have limited education, come from very poor families, and they immigrate to the state because there is no work in their hometown and consequently, they lack the means to take care of their families.

I admire these people because they had to leave their family and most of them take on jobs that nobody else wants for nearly 100 hours a week. They work to support their families that stayed back home.

I do not condone the fact that they came illegally, but you cannot ignore the sacrifices and risks they experienced in order to get here, or the effort they put into their jobs.

Some illegal immigrants are able to attain citizenship after many years of living in fear of deportation. Some of these immigrants even establish successful businesses.

The second type of Latino immigrants came in hopes of living the American Dream.

Most of them (if not all) came legally and have stayed in this country legally. Most of the people in this group are well educated, with college and graduate degrees. These people generally belonged in the upper middle class of their country. This is the group I belong to.

After Chavez won the Venezuelan Presidential election in 1999, my family decided it was time to move on and to look for better things. What I admire about this group is the determination.

Regardless of the comfortable lifestyle they have in their country of origin, these immigrants start all over again in a new country in hopes of better opportunities and better outcomes for future generations in the family.
The third type of immigrants comes to the US as a career step. These immigrants find a job, get experience, and then go back to their home country to continue their professional careers.

All of these types of immigrants have positive aspects and negative aspects in their journey.

Still today, after several years in the country, I find people that think I am an illegal immigrant when they hear I am from Venezuela. They assume that my father works in the landscape business and my mother is cleaning hotel rooms. I do not denigrate those jobs, but as with every race, we all have people from every group.

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