Saturday, August 1, 2009

Immigration building a bridge to a family's future

In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.-Alex Haley

I wanted to thanks my great grandparents for crossing the border into Laredo Texas in 1906. I know it was not easy leaving everything behind in central Mexico.They were looking for a better life here in the United States. What they did on that hot day in 1906 had a ripple effect in time that could have never been imagined. Little did my great grandfather know how powerful his walk across the border would be. My grandparent's were carried over the border as babies by their parents.

My grandparent's were very hard workers. They had a great work ethic.My grandfather was a route salesman delivering sweet bread or "pan dulce" for a local Mexican bakery. My grandmother used to shell pecans. She also worked as a maid and picked cotton with my dad, who as a boy at the time. Nothing was handed to them. Their house was located in the barrio of San Antonio. They rented the house of course. My grandmother made all the necessary repairs to the house. While my grandfather worked she would upholster the furniture, fix sinks and toilets and paint the house.

My dad was also a hard worker. He was dedicated to his family. He did everything from a produce street salesman, to a steel worker. From a parking garage attendant to a bus driver. He finished his work career as a director of building operations for the local utility company. My mother worked a for the phone company for a bit. She became a stay at home mom. I was one of nine kids. Nothing was handed to us either. We were poor growing up but as kids we don't know what social class we belong to. We did not know if we were rich or poor.

I know it would not be easy for my great grandparents to cross into Texas today. It would be very difficult. The United States border patrol is extremely active. They are are high tech with surveillance cameras everywhere. The Texas Governor Rick Perry has committed 1,000 troops and 135 million for border security. This will help curb the drug cartels from spilling into Texas. This will also be done with the help of aerial drones, high tech cameras and the controversial border fence. I know that the U.S does trading with Mexico and Canada with the North American Free Trade Alliance (NAFTA). This has been good for all three countries.

I am sure that if my great grandparents or grandparents were alive today, they would see the end result of their sweat, strain and hardships. They would see that all of my brother's and sisters are professionals here in Texas. We are all operating nine different households. We have a lot of professions covered. We are bankers, policemen, teachers, and insurance adjusters. By the time we all retire , we would have contributed millions of dollars in taxes. We exercise our right to vote. With the economy things have not been easy for my brothers and sisters but we are surviving.

I am the end result of that border crossing in 1906. My brothers and sisters and all of our families are the rewards. I hope that I am making my great grandparents and grandparents proud.

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