Written by María Guadalupe Guzmán
Every mother’s story on our Meet My Immigrant Mom tumblr is an inspiration. But like any daughter, I think my mom is the greatest.
I admire my mom for having the courage to come to a country that she knew nothing about, leaving everything to look for a better future for all of us. In 1991, my mom came to this country in search of her dream, not knowing anyone or what to expect.
My mom has worked cleaning homes and doing farm work for over 15 years. It’s exhausting work. With her small earnings she took care of our needs, but the long work hours have affected her physically and mentally.
My mom’s story is one of millions – there’s a generation out there raised by these heroes. They deserve a day honoring them just like any other mom. And they deserve the kind of reform that values and is inclusive of women’s work and includes a real path to citizenship.
It’s the millions of stories, told by fearless people across the country, that give us this historic opportunity to reform our immigration system after decades of struggle. An issue that was for years dismissed as unsolvable now has hope because people are speaking up. Young Americans like those posting on Meet My Immigrant Mom and the many more who will never give up or stop voicing why they needed change.
I speak up every day for reform. I share my story, but I am not alone. We need everyone to raise his or her voices to make immigration reform a reality.
Immigration reform is the single most important piece of legislation Congress is considering right now, and as our Senators debate lines and amendments, we know there is room for improvement. Improvements to benefit people like my mom.
For example, requirements to show continued employment can be challenging for women who work informal jobs such as nannies or housekeepers. Fines and fees charged throughout the process may be too high for many families.
We must support the move towards comprehensive reform, in the face of great opposition, but we can’t take for granted that the Senate will necessarily heed our mothers’ needs.
We need everyone to share their story. We need a chorus to ensure those in Washington hear our mothers’ voices.
Now is the time to make sure Congress and the world know why our mothers matter.
Though I know my mother is special to me, I also know that she is not alone and so many share my family’s struggles. What unites all of us is love – love for our mothers, love for our nannies, and the love that moves us to fight for immigration reform.
Immigration reform could be a reality this year, but there is more work to do and more stories to tell. This Mothers’ Day, honor your mom by adding your voice to the fight for immigration reform.
The time is now! Speak up! Share your story.
María Guadalupe Guzmán is a DACA-eligible Californian and former live-in caregiver. María is an advocate for women’s rights and immigration with We Belong Together, a campaign to engage women across the country on immigration reform. We Belong Together is co-anchored by the National Domestic Workers Alliance (www.domesticworkers.org) and by the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (www.napawf.org).