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Essay on Experience of an Immigrant

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When I was deliberating topics for my case study ethnography report I was inspired to examine some one very close to me who is "undocumented", someone whose experience I have seen first hand, some one who has affected my life and understanding of immigrants with his situation; my partner, Mario. This class has exposed us to many writings on the subjects of migration, immigration and emigration. I began to compare the concepts and information in the readings to Mario’s personal situation. I was curious if his answer would be "In search of a better life" when asked, "Why did you come here?"

By offering personal insights and experiences regarding his/our situation I would like to discuss issues directly related to the expected learning outcomes that the course Migration and Culture had put forth in the beginning of the semester, including: patterns, transnational events, understanding why people migrate and impacts on the host and home communities of the migrants.

I had crated a semi-formal interview with Mario and asked questions that might help me and others understand the issues and processes involved with being a migrant (the how and why people migrate). I wanted his point of view on why people decide to migrate. I wanted to know what he feels his fears, frustrations, rights and responsibilities are in his role as an undocumented, illegal person. I also wanted to add my specific concerns relating to having a partner of this status.

The how and why of Mario’s journey is probably not that different than other Mexicans who have made the journey north to the United States. He lived in Nayarit, a state in Mexico along the Pacific Ocean about 1,000 miles south of the border. He lived with his mother, father and eleven brother...


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...ven if we were going to the store or the doctors office. The fact that he is listed as my domestic partner with my health, dental and life insurance doesn’t change his legal status. Another big concern of mine is an issue involving insurance. My insurance company accepts him as my dependent and collects the premiums. If we needed to file a claim on his behalf the insurance company may retain the right to deny it if they claim the accident or illness occurred during the commission of a crime. Being in this county illegally is a crime.

Many issues relate to Mario’s status. I have just been exposed to a few. My exposure has made the concepts discussed in class more understandable. I understand the risks they take to be here and when I did ask Mario if the risks were worth it he said that the opportunity for a better life made it worth all of the risks and sacrifices.


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