By Dulce Alfaro, Emmanuel Ferrer, Kelly Ou and Stefany Garcia
Some of them have only been in the country a few months, but students at the San Francisco International High School are already tackling difficult topics that transcend borders. Each student has selected a “Change-maker,” someone who, in their eyes, is solving the problems these students care about most. In this ongoing series, Mission Local presents their stories and their profiles of their heroes.
Recent estimates put the number of immigrants living in the United States at around 41 million — about 13 percent of the overall population. The United States is a disproportionately popular destination, attracting 20 percent of the entire world’s migrants, despite accounting for less than five percent of the global population.
When immigrants arrive, they face cultural and linguistic barriers as well as economic challenges. Some 11.6 million of these immigrants are undocumented, and face even greater barriers to starting their new lives. The following students have first-hand experience with the process of immigration and chose to profile change-makers who help others with their transitions into the country.
My name is Dulce Alfaro, and I am 17-years-old. I am from Mexico. I studied problems that undocumented people face. Some common problems that undocumented people face are injustices in their work — like low wages that do not even reach the minimum wage in San Francisco. There are also bad working conditions. For example, no breaks to rest.
It’s incredible how some people survive in this country. Why do they endure all these things? The answer is because in their country there is poverty, violence or no jobs. Also, people want to give their families better life conditions and offer a better education to their children. But they sacrifice spending time with their families and not knowing when they can return home again.
This problem affected my life because my dad immigrated to the United States when I was two years old. It really is very hard growing up without a father. I grew up with my mother, but it is not enough, you always feel you are missing something inside you.
In my opinion, to solve this problem the United States’ government needs to make new laws that protect undocumented people against injustices or discrimination. If you, reader, agree, please remember immigrants are people like you and me, and please be fair.
My name is Emmanuel. I am from…
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