Immigration is not a rare discussion topic and by having conversations about this issue, people can learn more about it. By talking to others who have first-hand experience with immigration and have had the impact of immigration on their lives, there is another perspective provided on the matter. Carlsbad High School junior and first generation American, Anayeli Hernandez, shares her story and opinions about immigration and deportation within the United States.
“For me (being a daughter of an immigrant) means that you have to work 10 times as hard to get half the recognition for anything,” Hernandez said. “Hard work is the only thing that will lead to success in my family.”
It is safe to say, the majority of the Carlsbad High School students have not experienced what Hernandez and her family have. As a first generation American, Hernandez has been able to learn many lessons that she will carry with her for the rest of her life.
“Nothing that I’ve had in life has been easy,’ Hernandez said. “My parents have had to work so much harder for it. I think that we are given the same opportunities if you work hard enough for them. They are still there if you stop making excuses for yourself and you can become as successful as anybody else. (People should know that) just because my parents are immigrants, doesn’t mean that I can’t do anything that anybody else doesn’t do and I’m not going to let that hold me back. The only reason I am doing all of this is for my parents. To give back for all the sacrifices they’ve made for me. The biggest thing (my parents have taught me) is to never give up. If they can make it here, so can I.”
Although Hernandez may have experienced challenges, but she has refused to let them stop her from becoming a successful student. Hernandez has been able to use her hard working attitude to strive towards greatness.
“The whole not having somebody who has experience in college or high school, my parents both had a third grade level education, is difficult,” Hernandez said. “You are not able to go to your parents and ask them for advice or help on how to get into college. Thankfully I have a brother who is first generation to go to college so I have some idea about what I’m getting into. Also, there is the finance thing. Because my parents are not born here, they have less opportunity for high paying jobs so that plays a part into what college I can go to and I definitely have to work really really hard to get scholarships to get into the college I want to go to and be successful.”
However, due to recent discussions in the media about the topics of immigration, Hernandez expresses concern towards those who do not fully understand the effects of deportation on immigrants.
“I think what a lot of people don’t understand is that if you see the process of deportation, I don’t think you would agree with it because it’s not ok for somebody to ever be ripped from their family just because they don’t have legal status here,” Hernandez said. “I think that some people are just so uneducated on the topic but they still feel as if they have the right to talk about it. It’s really annoying because if you’ve never been in a situations where you have had to fear that when you come home, your parents are not going to be there, then I think you shouldn’t interject an opinion.”