The inauguration of President Trump brought more than a new face into office, primarily an agenda that involved a crack-down on immigration. His plan to cut down DACA and restrictions on participants from certain countries caused Americans to be more aware of important topics like these. Immigration due to a refugee status impacts us more than we think, even here at Loy Norrix.
For one student, senior Fredy Raymundo, his junior year brought emigrating from Guatemala by himself, with very little assistance.
“I came from Guatemala. I was going to keep going to school, but I couldn’t because there was no money. It is also more dangerous there,” said Raymundo.
He saw America as a place of opportunity, and felt that he wouldn’t be successful staying in Guatemala. Working from the age of ten for a dismal wage almost seemed like a predictor for a gloomy future.
However, simply attempting to enter the U.S borders came with its own set of challenges. “I’m not going to say it was easy. It took me like four months to move here because I was in Mexico for three months and couldn’t cross the river to get to the U.S,” said Raymundo.
Additionally, Raymundo didn’t speak English, meaning that coming to America was a total culture shock. “The process was so hard because I didn’t know where to go, the organization just said that they would pay for me to go to school. We took two airplanes just to get to Michigan and when we got to the airport in Grand Rapids, I was crying because I didn’t know where to go,” said Raymundo. Moving to another country, under the age of eighteen is unimaginable for many high school students, let alone a reality.
Despite the hardships Fredy endured, coming to America indicated a fresh start. With opportunities like cheaper colleges and high paying jobs, Raymundo’s future looks bright.
“If I keep going to school I would like to be a mechanic or work as an accountant in the bank,” said Raymundo. He has his eye on KVCC as a potential secondary institution.
Stories like Raymundo’s are becoming more common, despite some seemingly outdated regulations that President Trump propagates. Reading his story firsthand helps to take important issues like immigration that seem irrelevant to us, and give them a face. If we are to advocate for the future, especially for refugees, then that makes it even more important to share stories such as these.