Relationship: Child of im/migrant

For many immigrant or mix status families, money is a big and important issue. Before arriving in the United States in 1987, my mother worked in a marina in Nicaragua, as a secretary for about $60 per month. In the late 1970s, revolution and civil war broke out in Nicaragua between the Somoza family and the Sandinistas. Supporting three children became increasingly difficult as the war loomed on. In December 1987, one of my mother’s cousins, a stewardess, helped pay for my mother’s journey to the United States via the Juarez/El Paso border. It had taken, my mom, several days, by airplane, bus, and trains to get to the border. My mom arrived at the Juarez/El Paso border with only the clothes on her back, 500 pesos, and 2 cordobas. While living in Texas, my mother worked on a farm planting seeds and picking fruit for $15 dollars a day. Eventually, with the help of a church friend involved in the Sanctuary Movement, my mother received a bus ticket to New York City. It was New York City, where she was able to start making better wages to support her family, including her three oldest children in Nicaragua and her two youngest, my sister and I, in the United States. With the help of free legal aid, my mom was eventually reunited with all of her children in Spring of 2002. In 2015, my mother saved $687 to pay a lawyer to help her become a citizen in September of that year. To this day my mother continues to support her family in Nicaragua and in the United States.

Year: 1965

– Jeanette S.

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant