WE ARE: A Nation of Immigrants - New Haven 2018
The Participants




Portrait Location: 
New Haven Green B2

Current occupation: Currently in sanctuary at the First and Summerfield United Methodist Church in New Haven; former employee at a manufacturing plant in Milford for 15 years.

Arrival in the US: 1992 at age 18

Reason for migration: I left Ecuador because there were no opportunities for kids like me. Even if you went to school, there were no jobs.

Commentary: When I crossed the Mexican border into the US, I knew zero English.  I looked at all the signs with different words and thought, “Wow, what am I doing here?”  But I started to learn English right away.  I got a job in a restaurant and started asking people, “How do you call this in English?  After a year or so, I went to an English school. Knowing some English has helped me in my job.  Even though I was an excellent worker and had learned lots of skills, I would not have gotten promoted if I didn’t know any English.

I have two daughters and a son.  They were born in this country and so are US citizens.  Sometimes we cannot give them all they need and I try to encourage them to do well in school so they’ll get better jobs and have what they need when they have kids.

I was under supervision by the immigration office for the last five years.  They were giving me stays for six months, a year, three months.  Then at the end they didn’t want to do that any more and they issued a deportation order.  I was supposed to bring a one-way plane ticket to the office and leave on November 3rd.  But I didn’t want to leave my family after all this time so I decided to come to the church instead.  It’s very hard on my kids and especially on their mom.  I was with them all the time.  Now, she’s got to do everything on her own. She doesn’t say anything, but I know its bothering her because she looks skinnier!  I have strong faith and my lawyers are doing their best to get me out.  I know I didn’t do anything wrong. I am very thankful for the community of people who are supporting me in all sorts of ways.  They are doing an excellent job.