Beyond Borders: Alfonso's Story

August 7, 2007

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My name is Alfonso. I'm from Mexico City and I've been here for ten long years.

The main reason why I decided to come to the United States is to make a man of myself.

I was in Mexico and I was not able to find work. My brother was already here in the United States. I don't know and I always used to talk to him on the phone and uh it sounded great, you know, the American dream and all that crap.
 
I just packed a few things, a small bag, a backpack. You know the one thing that I do remember that I put in my backpack was my favorite t-shirt. Which is from a Mexican band called Eitri, it's a rock and roll band.  That and a bag of hopes (laughs).

I was expecting money coming out of the skies.  I was expecting. I don't know, like  a wonderland.
 
It was a Saturday.

And some people were crossing over and I joined them. They give you a plan. Here's the fence, and you jump, and you are there. And the plan was that somebody was supposed to meet us there in the car but when we jumped the fence some cholos were waiting for us there.
 
Well they all had guns and knives.

Well they took my shoes and everything and it was really rocky. It was glass everywhere I knew I was going to bleed with so much stuff on the floor so I tried to get the shoes off of  them and this other guy he had a knife and he stabbed me a little bit on the back. 

But I was able to get the shoes. But I was able you know, Because we walked for hours. There were like eight of us.  Two girls, they were freaking out cause they almost got raped.
 
Everybody was hiding their money on their underwears,  that 's the reason why they had everyone take off the clothes because they were hiding the money there. There's like 50 of us there.

They take you to the airport, they buy your plane ticket, they put you on the plane and off you go and whoever bought your freedom picks you up on the other side of the airport, ya, and then you work your ass off until you repay the loan. 

I came here to help out back home my family and everything but I came here to grow up. Because I was young back then.  I was 19 years old. There was two weeks and no job.

We went to the temp agency and I was going there everyday at 5 in the morning, alone.

Well I didn't get lucky. I worked for a day here and so and uh well it was tough. I did a couple of things here and there. But you know I was kind of starting to get depressed. I felt it right away. Hey, this is not the dream, what the hell, you know, this is completely different.

And uh this is a thought I had a couple weeks ago and about the raids and crap that the government is doing to us.  Here we go:
 
And here I am once again. Feeling sorry for myself. Tired of being pushed around, tired of working and not being appreciated. It's enough.

I give up. I'm sick of this system and it's not for me and it's creating a hole in my soul.

Sometimes I kind of gave up on really being accepted from people.  I always struggled for everything.  Even when I try my best. Even when I try so hard. I spend so much time in the mirror, seeing the way the people they move their lips when they speak they try their pronunciation.

I try so much to blend in and I still can't regardless of anything.

Even if I get a nice suit and everything I still can't get accepted. I still get the looks from people.
 
If you're an immigrant or illegal, you'll know the feeling. You'll know exactly what I'm talking about.

I mean would you hunt illegals like animals if you were treating them like a person? Does that make sense? No right?

I mean they hunt you like animals. What is people gonna think? We're animals. They don't treat us like persons. It just gets you because I mean we're criminals. That's the way we're treated.

In the past it affected me a lot worse than now cause I was really angry all the time.  I was really an angry person well since I kind of started to put everything down on paper it kind of relieved a lot of the stuff that I've been piling up for years, that they're there just waiting to come out. It kind of started to relieve me a little bit.

So why, why the walls? Why point fingers? Your culture has become our culture. Your system has become our system and we are grateful but for how long. I would like to but they wont' let me. I don't want any food stamps. All I want is work. I don't have any papers but I still do pay my taxes every year and you take my money. I've earned it and you won't give me anything in return. Why?

I mean if they gonna catch me they gonna catch me regardless of what I do. The question is  How and when. That's the part that I worry about.  I'm sure they will. It doesn't look like this immigration thing is going to be solved anytime soon.

You know just the thought of being sent away, leaving everything that you know behind, just as I did when I left Mexico. 

That would be a dream. To go back and visit my brothers, see the rest of my family they're still there.

That would be a dream come true. Go visit your family but by choice not by force and being able to come back.

Cause this place feels like home. It really does.

I just want what everybody else wants. That's it. That's all I want.