On the Fence


Over a hundred years ago, my great-great grandmother fled Germany by herself to come to the United States to escape the abuse of her father. She had no connections in this country and nowhere to go. That same century my ancestors from Ireland crossed the Atlantic to make a better life in America. They were discriminated against for their religion and for their nationality. Ana* and her husband, two hardworking Mexicans, paid a coyote to help them cross the Rio Grande into the United States ten years ago. They saw no future for their two young girls in Mexico and could not make ends meet. The family has struggled with racial profiling and prejudices since they arrived. On the surface there are no differences in these stories. With other opportunities exhausted, these determined people uprooted their lives and moved to an unknown country, where the language, religion, and customs are different and friends or family are limited. [excerpt

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