‘It’s really easy for people who are not immigrants, and even for immigrants themselves, to criminalize those who come to the United States as undocumented. Crossing the border from Mexico to the United States was one of the most horrendous and dangerous things I’ve ever done. I was very innocent…I was very little…I was really scared. I was put with strangers and we walked for hours. It was very risky walking without water. Women and children got raped along the way. Sometimes, people were taken away by the cartels or other groups. It’s really dangerous to come here and, looking back, it was such a difficult experience but we still had the dream for a better life and, as hard as it is to imagine, it was a risk worth taking. People, like myself, are brought to the United States and they come exactly for that…a better life. We are not criminals even if we get called ‘illegal,’ or ‘alien,’ and things like that. We’re human beings and to be called things like that, under the circumstances, is dehumanizing. No human being is ‘illegal’ even if they don’t always go about things the right way. Once you get here, it’s hard to get accustomed to the language and the culture and many of us still feel like we’re missing a part of ourselves and we come to an identity crisis not knowing, ‘am I American or am I still Mexicana?’ But the dream is still there and the most beautiful thing of all, for me, is that, as I go along, I now have the power and the means to take the best of both my cultures and to give back to my new community.’ #welcomingsaltlake

Part 2 of 3


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