Guest Voz: A noted brain surgeon reflects on his life as an undocumented farm worker

LatinaLista — All too often, the human element is excluded from the debate on what to do about undocumented immigrants. Because of the rampant hostility manufactured by some self-interest groups, we are all supposed to believe that undocumented migrants will never amount to anything but a drain on our society.
The problem is, though we know that assumption to be false, there are not enough examples known to counteract it. So, whenever a success story is discovered, it deserves to be shared — to inspire the undocumented that there is still hope for their future and to enlighten those of us who have forgotten that the human spirit will overcome any obstacle placed in its way.
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Dr. Quinoñes-Hinojosa journeyed from being an undocumented migrant farm worker to a respected brain surgeon.
(Source:Reader’s Digest)

Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa’s story comes to Latina Lista courtesy of a new interactive discussion site called Big Think.

Twenty years ago, Dr. Alfredo Quinoñes-Hinojosa hopped a border fence from Mexico into the United States and became a migrant farm worker, living in the fields in a broken-down camper he bought for $300.
When told he would probably be a farm worker for the rest of his life, he signed up for English classes at a community college, where one of his teachers encouraged him to apply to UC-Berkeley. There, he developed a passion for science, and showed remarkable aptitude. He went on to Harvard Medical School and graduated with honors, followed by a residency in neurosurgery at UC-San Francisco, where he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in developmental and stem cell biology.
He later received the American Association of Neurological Surgeons Ronald Bittner Award. Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa is now an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and Oncology at Johns Hopkins and serves as the Director of the brain tumor program at the The Johns Hopkins Bayview campus. There, his focus is on the surgical treatment of primary and metastatic brain tumors, with an emphasis on motor and speech mapping during surgery.



Hear Dr. Quinoñes-Hinojosa speak more about his life and work.

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26 Comments

  1. Horace said:

    “Because of the rampant hostility manufactured by some self-interest groups, we are all supposed to believe that undocumented migrants will never amount to anything but a drain on our society.
    The problem is, though we know that assumption to be false, there are not enough examples known to counteract it.”
    Another case of the ends justifying the means and rationalizing that, because there are success stores, ignoring our laws is ok. The vast majority of illegal alien farm workers are illiterate and unskilled, making it highly unlikely that they’ll become doctors or lawyers and highly likely that they will eventually qualify for welfare, should they be given amnesty. The writer would have us abandon our policies based upon charity for the illegal immigrant. This story is just so much sop for those ruled by their emotions rather than common sense.
    Self-interest groups? Yes we have our interests as citizens at heart, as do millions of Hispanics. Citizen families of illegal aliens do not have any bias that could be called self-interests? What’s wrong with the idea of Americans defending themselves against the destructive interests of those who would aid and abet illegal aliens? This is our nation and what you propose is the sacrifice our to the interests to foreigners who have no moral or legal claim to a presence here. This is why advocates like yourself are held in such contempt by the majority of the nation.

  2. laura said:

    What an amazing life. What a wonderful man. And what an example of the spiritual beauty of so many of our brothers and sisters in humanity, who work the fields that nourish us. The words of this brilliant physician scientist express the pain that hateful treatment inflicts on the hearts of people, those farmworkers among whom many are smarter and wiser and in possession of bigger souls than we are. His life is the clearest comment on the ignorance of hateful speech and action directed against “illegals.”
    These days, he would be handcuffed by ICE, thrown on the ground, shackled, dragged to a detention center, imprisoned for months, and then returned to Mexico.
    And the patients with brain cancer would not have him to operate on their tumor, and to find new treatments for it in his laboratory.
    He has not forgotten his life as a migrant farmworker. And we should not forget our brothers and sisters who live that life. How many among them are we losing who could be brilliant poets, movie directors, engineers, and doctors ?
    And by the way – how many American children are we losing because our schools are getting worse and worse so that weapons manufacturers can rake in the billions?
    Dr. Quinoñes-Hinojosa can inspire us to never stop trying, to do our best against all odds when our goal is worthwhile.

  3. Evelyn said:

    “The vast majority of illegal alien farm workers are illiterate and unskilled, making it highly unlikely that they’ll become doctors or lawyers and highly likely that they will eventually qualify for welfare”
    “This is why advocates like yourself are held in such contempt by the majority of the nation.”
    E
    Horace
    Please provide credible proof that the two statements you made above are factual and not just you running your mouth again.

  4. Frank said:

    I couldn’t have said it better myself Horace but their ethnocentric agenda trumps common sense and our laws. It falls on deaf ears.

  5. Evelyn said:

    Horace said
    “The vast majority of illegal alien farm workers are illiterate and unskilled, making it highly unlikely that they’ll become doctors or lawyers and highly likely that they will eventually qualify for welfare”
    Frank :said
    “I couldn’t have said it better myself Horace”
    E
    I though you said you never agreed with virulent racist comments.

  6. Frank said:

    Why in the world would Horace need to prove what is “probable”? Especially when the probables are backed up by the fact that Latinos have the highest dropout rate in school and also a fact that most that cross our southern border illegally are the poor and uneducated. It is like asking someone to prove that vanilla ice cream is white, lol.

  7. Horace said:

    E
    “Horace
    Please provide credible proof that the two statements you made above are factual and not just you running your mouth again.”
    Ok, Evelyn, have it your way, most produce picking Hispanic illegal aliens will ultimately become doctors and lawyers, though they have grade school educations (at best) and have little training other than what they can put their backs into. However, I think most sane people believe otherwise.

  8. Evelyn said:

    Horace said
    The vast majority of illegal alien farm workers are illiterate and unskilled, making it highly unlikely that they’ll become doctors or lawyers
    (and highly likely that they will eventually qualify for welfare”)
    E
    Please provide documented study by credible sources stating that the section of your statement shown in parentheses is not just you running your mouth off again.
    Horace said
    “This is why advocates like yourself are held in such contempt by the majority of the nation.”
    E
    Please provide the study that makes this statement credible and not just another one of your lies.

  9. laura said:

    Dear Evelyn,
    I think the point of Dr. Quinoñes-Hinojosa’s life story is not that most out-of status farmworkers will be brain surgeons one day. Most American college graduates do not have the capability to be brain surgeons either.
    In my view, the point is that he exemplifies the humanity and courage of our out-of status brothers and sisters. He also symbolizes the stupidity of those who judge their fellow human beings based on their visa status, ethnicity, education level, or income.

  10. R. Burr said:

    Thanks for an interesting story with a unique and different views, and intriguing insights.

  11. Frank said:

    Our brothers and sisters? So Mexicans are your brothers and sisters rather than Americans?
    We don’t judge the personal character of anyone based on their status or those other things. We judge them on their actions!

  12. Evelyn said:

    Laura
    I was referring to the fact that he insinuated that all farm workers were illiterate and unskilled and would eventually end up on welfare.
    I know several studies done on that subject say farm workers go on to work at other jobs that are not as labor intensive and also pay more.
    They dont go on welfare like Horace insinuated.
    These people need to show proof that what they say is true and not just another smear campaign against a group of people they dont like.
    When they are held accountable for their lies they are exposed.
    That is my intent.

  13. Evelyn said:

    Hey, don’t bad-mouth unskilled immigrants: You don’t have to be a computer genius to be good for the U.S.
    Tyler Cowen, Daniel Rothschild
    May 15, 2006
    Los Angeles Times
    GOOGLE, YAHOO and Sun Microsystems were all founded by immigrants – from Russia, Taiwan and India, respectively. There is near-universal agreement that skilled immigrants are an enormous boon to the American economy.
    But what about the millions of unskilled laborers who arrive in this country every year?
    Recent public discourse would have us believe that they poach American jobs, lower wages and sponge off welfare. Yet economic research suggests a different picture: Unskilled immigrants are good for the U.S., and the U.S. is good for them.
    Until the late 1990s, when a boom in native-born self-employment occurred, immigrants were more likely than natives to work for themselves. Immigrant small businesses, from the Korean corner market to the Mexican landscaping service, are, well, as American as apple pie. The labor market is not a zero-sum game with a finite number of jobs; immigrants create their own work.
    A key question for economists has been whether the influx raises or lowers “native” American wages. UC Berkeley’s David Card, who studied patterns in different U.S. cities, concludes that immigration has not lowered wages for American workers. George Borjas of Harvard counters that immigration reduced the wages of high school dropouts by 7.4% between 1980 and 2000.
    Most economists have sided with Card. For one thing, his studies better capture the notion that immigrant labor makes work easier for all of us and brings new skills to the table. Additionally, as Card points out, the percentage of native-born high school dropouts has fallen sharply over the previous decades, creating a shortage of unskilled laborers that immigrants fill. In 1980, one in three American adults had less than a high school education; by 2000, this figure had fallen to less than one in five.
    Gianmarco Ottaviano of the University of Bologna and Giovanni Peri of the National Bureau of Economic Research have shown that immigrants and low-skilled American workers fulfill very different roles in the economy. For instance, 54% of tailors in the U.S. are foreign-born, compared with less than 1% of crane operators. A similar discrepancy exists between plaster-stucco masons (44% immigrant) and sewer-pipe cleaners (less than 1% foreign-born). Immigrants come to the United States with different skills, inclinations and ideas; they are not looking to simply copy the behavior of American workers.
    New arrivals, by producing more goods and services, also keep prices down across the economy. Even Borjas – the favorite economist of immigration restrictionists – admits that the net gain to the U.S. from immigration is about $7 billion annually.
    And over the coming decades, the need for immigrant labor will increase, according to demographers. The baby boom generation will need more healthcare and more nursing homes. The forthcoming Medicare fiscal crunch will require more and younger laborers to finance the program.
    Some argue that we should employ a more restrictive policy that allows in only immigrants with “needed” skills. But this assumes that the government can read the economic tea leaves. Most bureaucrats in 1980 did not foresee the building or biomedical booms of the 1990s, or the decline of auto manufacturing.
    We should not trust government to know what kind of laborers we will need 20 years from now. The ready presence of immigrant workers – including the unskilled – makes all businesses easier to start, and thus spurs American creativity.
    We should not forget that immigration is good for the immigrants themselves. It often means the difference between extreme poverty and the good life.
    Card finds that post-1965 immigrants, as recorded in U.S. census data, have a good record of assimilation. Second-generation children have, on average, higher education and wages than the children of natives. Of the 39 largest country-of-origin groups, the sons of 33 and the daughters of 32 of those groups have surpassed the educational levels of the children of natives.
    Finally, it is fitting that both Card and Borjas are themselves immigrants. Borjas emigrated from Cuba when he was 12, and Card came from Canada to earn his doctorate at Princeton. Their very debate shows how immigrants have become central to the American enterprise.
    Yes, immigration brings some real costs. But most of these problems are concentrated in a few border and urban areas; federal policy can help correct the imbalances.
    Americans have heard from politicians for more than 200 years that immigration will cause the sky to fall. Yet each time it has only made us stronger.

  14. Evelyn said:

    This is what rational anti racist law abiding Americans are like and what they stand for:
    Postville
    Iowa Citizens For Community Improvements
    Immigrant Issues
    “El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido.”
    (The people united, will never be defeated)
    While many people have lived in Iowa all their lives, others have only just arrived. Latino immigrants in particular have made the difficult decision to leave their homes in search of a way to support their families. They have come to Iowa ready to work hard and raise a family. In the process, they’ve helped many aging communities avoid significant financial downturns, empty classrooms, and business closures. And while they face the same issues as other Iowans, being an immigrant creates its own set of unique issues.
    Through our Latino-led organizing in Marshalltown and Des Moines, we’ve learned about the working conditions in the meatpacking industry, housing and financial scams that are occurring, forms of discrimination they face, and hopes they have for their children’s future. Together we’re getting things done about these issues.
    Meet Our Members
    Meet CCI Member – Floyd Loggins
    “CCI is a good organization that is trying to get things done. We really do something about the issue – we aren’t all talk.” Read more…
    ~~
    Meet CCI Member – Barb Kalbach
    “I will never forget what the organization has done for me, my family and my community. ” Read more…
    ~~
    Meet CCI Member – Sally Riggs
    “Being a CCI member gave me the support and strength to take on corporate America and win.” Read more…
    ~~
    Meet CCI Member – Francisco Contreras
    “CCI is strong, insistent and doesn’t give up. I stay involved because I’m excited to work with other members and help find the solutions to problems” Read more…
    ~~
    Meet CCI Member – Marilyn Andersen
    “With CCI, you see the commonalities we all have and CCI grows by working on issues that affect many people in different ways.” Read more…
    ~~
    Meet CCI Member – Fr. Eugene Kutsch
    “Initially we just had urban people involved in neighborhood issues, and now CCI has really expanded. It’s been tremendous. The more diverse our membership is, the stronger the organization will be. Powerlessness is not an isolated reality in a community, but it’s something that is very much present in various societies and communities.” Read more…
    ~~
    Meet CCI Member – Bob Scrivner
    “The adrenaline from going to the meetings and organizing is so powerful – I feel that if we act together, we can accomplish anything.” Read more…
    ~~
    Meet CCI Members – Tommie & Katherine Stoner
    “I like the way CCI tackles issues in Iowa and how we can also take our issues to a national level too.” Read more…
    ~~
    Meet CCI Member – Maria Lira
    “I have always been motivated to work with and fight for people. CCI gave me that opportunity” Read more…
    ~~
    Meet CCI Member – Phil Dabner
    “There’s always something that needs to be done for communities, and CCI helps people across Iowa get things done. Almost all of our members are involved with the things they want to see get turned around, and they just don’t give up.” Read more…
    ~~
    Meet CCI Member – Ron Kielkopf
    “I’m excited to see a lot of great folks of different ages, abilities and experiences, who would have very little impact as individuals, come together to become very effective with one voice on many issues. For those who agree with us, we have become a strong ally. For those who disagree with us, we have become effective opposition.” Read more…
    ~~
    Meet CCI Members -
    Everardo and Tomasa
    Fonseca
    “Not much can be done as individuals, but as a group we can knock down all sorts of barriers and solve many more problems. The reason why Latinos en Acción de CCI has been so successful is because we are united and organized.” Read more…
    ~~
    Meet CCI Member -
    Bob Uetz
    “CCI is a truly democratic organization. That is CCI’s secret. If you want change, get involved with CCI. Link up with others locally and other groups nationally to get power on issues and make demands of people in power to get change.” Read more…
    ~~
    Meet CCI Member & Executive Director -
    Hugh Espey
    “We promote grass-roots people having a voice in government. We help them find solutions and find justice. It’s as American as apple pie and baseball.” Read more in a Des Moines Register interview…
    Read Hugh’s Award Recipient bio for a Leadership for a Changing World…
    Here are some others and these are all Conservative Republicans in one of the reddest states in the union, Kansas.
    Help us Build a Conservative Consensus!
    We are launching a nationwide campaign defending the Bush administration’s approach to comprehensive immigration reform and those who support it.
    The Senate’s failure to pass S. 1639 most obviously affects border security. Congress will enter 2008 without funding for additional fence, border agents, or holding beds, and a without a system of tamper-proof employee identification. The policy of the United States remains what it was: de facto amnesty along an uncontrolled border.
    But the collateral damage to the conservative movement, largely self-inflicted, is also severe.
    Morally, the popular and formal organs of the political Right invoked the civil infraction of crossing an unenforced border as the rationale for mass punishment of illegals and their employers – a punititve overkill of monumental proportions.
    Economically, the popular and formal organs of the political Right invoked such Marxist canards as Ricardo’s iron law of wages and the fictitious decline of the middle class. The interests of the employers of illegals — farmers, ranchers, food processors, service industries, high tech, and small business – were disregarded at best, deprecated at worst.
    “Politically, the popular and formal organs of the political Right comported themselves as if 32 million Hispanic American citizens could be disregarded when discussing the fate of 12 million Hispanic illegals; and as if the demographics of the West and South were irrelevant.
    A substantial portion of the political Right fell prey to the talk-radio-fed delusion that support for deportation of illegals exceeded support for their amnesty among the general public. The truth is precisely opposite, as polling by the Americas Majority Foundation has confirmed. By a margin of two-to-one, the American public prefers to amnesty illegal aliens, either as guest workers, or as eventual citizens.
    The self-fed delusion of the unpopularity of Hispanic migrant labor led most of the informal organs of the political Right to attack those conservative, pro-Hispanic politicians of the South and West who harbored no such delusions. Regrettably, many of the formal organs of the political right followed suit. In the process, conservative prospects have been severely damaged in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Florida, and Texas.
    Click on the message upper right hand corner. I am totally shocked that these people are able to think rationally.
    http://www.amermaj.com/outreach/groups/immigration-project.html

  15. Horace said:

    Frank, its always been about sneaking brothers and sisters across the border and keeping them here once they’ve arrived, nothing less.

  16. laura said:

    Dear Evelyn,
    thank you for the information about Iowa Citizens For Community Improvements. It is reassuring to see that in Iowa, just like in my home town, people connect as human beings across ethnic and language differences.
    My older, working-class, Irish-descended neighbors are pretty much as pro-Latino-immigrant as you and me. That is because they simply believe in fairness and decency, and because they run into Latina/os all the time. So dehumanizing racist thinking does not make any sense to them.
    I guess Iowans are the same kind of normal, decent human beings.
    As for the ridiculous idea of immigrant farmworkers hoping to go on welfare – as you know, I have no time to respond to posters such as “Frank” or “Horace” who are too blinded by the need to blame weaker people for their own troubles, and by hate and racism, to be capable of any fruitful dialogue. For the rest of us, we can draw inspiration, hope and encouragement from the amazing person of whom Marisa made us aware, Dr. Quinones-Hinojosa.

  17. Frank said:

    Horace, what I don’t get is shouldn’t they be considering their fellow American citizens as their brothers and sisters rather than illegal foreigners? This country is doomed with those kind of ethnocentric racist taking over.
    If whites were racists during the Civil Rights Era. We ain’t seen nothing yet with this new “brown” batch! The very thing that they keep preaching against, they are turning into themselves! What hypocrites!

  18. Evelyn said:

    Another heroic American taking racism on. Check his site out Laura, it’s very interesting.He also has makes no qualms about speaking the truth.
    http://www.skeptictank.org/nohate/nohate.htm
    All it takes for evil to win is for good people to do nothing to oppose it.
    Evil must be opposed where ever it shows its ugly face.
    Most so-called “anti-immigration” bigots demand that they’re not racist bigots; that they’re only against illegal aliens invading the United States and that they don’t hate all Mexicans.
    Their words and their actions speak otherwise. They’re no different than the Klu Klux Klan and all the other white supremistss hate cults down through the years. I find them all to be the same in all relevant aspects of their rhetoric and actions. I lump them all together since in my opinion there’s no difference other than what they’re calling themselves this time around.
    The fact that the American Nazi Party, Storm Front white supremists, National Vanguard white supremists and others are supporting, applauding, defending, joining, participating, and spewing the same hatred as these “Save Our State” a.k.a. “Minutemen” hate mongers speaks volumes abouf what they all stand for. They sing the same song.
    Your opinion may be different. I can accept that. What I can’t accept is assaults on freedom of speech, expression, art, and assaults against brown-skinned people who may or may not have broken any law, targeting them solely because they have brown skin under the guise of “fighting illegal alien invasions.”
    One of the relevant factors that also lead to my conclusion that these so-called “anti-illegal immigration” bigots are motivated out of racist hatred is the fact that there’s never any news about any of them assaulting Canadian illegal aliens — it’s always Mexicans. I find that that fact speaks volumes about what they really stand for.
    The Dark Wind Project takes a look at — and in some ways exposes — the racist bigots (using their own words where relevant) whether they call themselves Klu Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, American Nazi Party, Save Our State, Minutemen, Christian Idenity, or any other name: In my opinion, by their increasingly violent rhetoric and increasingly violent actions, in my opinion there’s no relevant, discernable difference between such groups when race is an integral aspect of what they oppose.

  19. Frank said:

    Want me to mention the violence on the pro-illegal side of this issue? Want me to post some videos of it?
    SOS nor the MM are not affiliated with the KKK or any Nazi party. You are stretching the truth now.
    What about those radical brown Nazi and reconquista groups? Are you saying they don’t exist? So what is your point then?
    The majority of Americans who oppose illegal immigration, their views are not based on racism. It is based on the rule of law. You and your ilk need to stop attacking your fellow Americans and stop dividing this country.

  20. Evelyn said:

    Frank said:
    Want me to mention the violence on the pro-illegal side of this issue? Want me to post some videos of it?
    SOS nor the MM are not affiliated with the KKK or any Nazi party. You are stretching the truth now.
    What about those radical brown Nazi and reconquista groups? Are you saying they don’t exist? So what is your point then?
    The majority of Americans who oppose illegal immigration, their views are not based on racism. It is based on the rule of law. You and your ilk need to stop attacking your fellow Americans and stop dividing this country.
    E
    Exclusion because of racism is what is dividing this country!! Look in the mirror.
    Let me help you face reality. Look below.
    Gang-bangers no matter what color white, black, brown, purple, green, or pink are dispicable.
    ~~
    Confirmed association between the CA Minutemen, SOS and Neo-Nazis
    Read this story in English | Espanol | Add a translation >>
    sd indymedia | 30.07.2005 21:21
    The following photos posted to sd indymedia on 7/30/2005 clearly show neo-nazis from the National Vangaurd participating in Save Our State protests. Joe Turner, head of SOS, is currently participating in the CA Minutemen’s patrol of Campo CA’a border fence. This is an obvious indicator that SOS is a racist group and that there is a clear link between the neo-nazis and the Minutemen.
    Click here to see a selection of the photos.
    “When three men allegedly tried to assault Naui Huitzilopochtli, a counterdemonstrator at the Saturday, July 16, 2005 rally against the day laborer center in Laguna Beach, California, they probably didn’t realize the political earthquake they were about to set into motion.
    But what happened in Laguna Beach on July 16th has changed everything. The very moment those three men set foot off the sidewalk, they opened themselves up to an intense amount of scrutiny. The cameras began clicking, reporters started scribbling, and policemen began investigating.”
    http://sandiego.indymedia.org/en/2005/07/110247.shtml

  21. Frank said:

    Who is being excluded? Enforcing our immigration laws is called “exclusion”?
    What race of people are we excluding from this country?
    I noticed that you wouldn’t address that fact that there is racism and violence on the pro-illegal side of this issue.
    You are wrong as usual. The MM and other anti-illegal groups are not affiliated with the KKK or any other racist groups.

  22. Evelyn said:

    Frank :
    Who is being excluded? Enforcing our immigration laws is called “exclusion”?
    What race of people are we excluding from this country?
    E
    People of color.
    ~~~
    I noticed that you wouldn’t address that fact that there is racism and violence on the pro-illegal side of this issue.
    E
    I dont know it to be fact!
    If there is violance the police will take care of it.
    ~~~
    You are wrong as usual. The MM and other anti-illegal groups are not affiliated with the KKK or any other racist groups.
    E
    I gave you proof. You are in denial.
    Posted by Frank | 6 de

  23. Frank said:

    We do not allow people of color to migrate here? Here is a hot flash for you. Asians are alloted the highest quotas for immigration into our country. Latinos are second by only a few percentage points. Whites are way down on the list for quotas. So you are full of BS as usual.
    There are plenty of videos out there that show violence and racism on the part of the pro-illegals. So I wouldn’t just be pointing out any violence or racism on the part of the anti-illegals. It is a wash!
    No, the MM and other anti groups are not “affiliated” with the KKK or other racist groups. They sometimes show up uninvited at rallies put on by the MMM, etc. because they agree about illegal immigration but that doesn’t mean that the MM agree with them on racism. You gave me proof of nothing.

  24. Evelyn Chavez said:

    Frank:said
    We do not allow people of color to migrate here?
    E
    No one ever said that!
    ~~~
    You asked,
    What race of people are we excluding from this country?
    E
    People of color.
    The fact that you are willing to deport 12 to 20 million immigrants the majority who are people of color is all the proof I need.
    Excuses Excuses Excuse for the MinuteMensos You’re in denial because you are a supporter.

  25. Ruben said:

    As to the comment that ‘all’ illegal migrant farm worker are uneducated and will not likely amount to lawyers, doctors etc… I will only mention the example of my own family.
    I grew up in a family of eight… yes eight boys. We all grew up as children of seasonal farm workers, and as soon as we were old enough, we too were considered agricultural laborers. My seven brothers and I migrated between Michigan and Texas following the fruit harvesting seasons. We did this consistently until each of us graduated from high school.
    Thanks to the help of various individuals such as our parents, teachers, and counselors, we were able to eventually break the cycle that strictly narrated our socioeconomic progress.
    I am extremely proud to have been part of a migrant lifestyle, and parallel in pride when I say that ALL of my siblings have degrees in varying fields including law, political science, medicine, engineering, economy, and the fine arts. We have 6 undergraduate degree titles from The University of Michigan hanging on my parent’s wall, along with a J.D., a Masters in higher education, and a soon to be Pharmacy Doctorate degree. So let me ask you, how many lawyers and engineers do you know that are illiterate?

  26. Alessandra said:

    Congratulations to you and your family, Ruben. You should all be proud that your hard work has paid off.
    However, I hope that you are also cognizant of the fact that it was this wonderful country which afforded you and your siblings the opportunity to achieve this success.
    The problem these days is that too many people want to come here, and then proceed to express hatred and contempt for this country and seek to tear down the very system which has enabled them to progress. For that matter, some of our own home-grown citizens fall into that category.

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