Making Immigration Reform Real: Meet My Immigrant Mom

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 ( and by the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (



Marianne H.
Marianne H4 years ago

Oh, Teresa, I know it'd be an interesting political conversation to discuss military strategy, the definition of war, and so forth with you. Unfortunately, I don't have time at this moment, but maybe during the summer...

The U.S. Army does not "break into any country it wants." I'm not sure why you think that, but I'm sure it'd be interesting to hear why you came to that conclusion. For argument's sake, can the U.S. Army "break into" Canada? France? England? Russia? China? Er, no, ma'am!!!

Marianne H.
Marianne H4 years ago

There's no such thing as an "illegal immigrant." The MEDIA has manipulated people. People illegally inside the U.S. are ILLEGAL ALIENS. The difference? Immigrants are people who enter the U.S. legally (with visa or green card, etc).

So, Illegal = Alien (no visa, etc, they have broken the law)--this is the same in every country in the world. Go to Mexico and see what they do to you if you try to sneak into their country and live there. Not pretty. Lawbreakers.

Margarita G.
Margarita G4 years ago

Thanks for sharing!

Marianne Good
Past Member 4 years ago


Tim C.
Tim C4 years ago


Elizabeth L.
Elizabeth L4 years ago

There is a big difference between illegal immigrants and legal immigrants. One ignores the law and usually pays people smugglers to help them flout international borders and the other waits in line for a chance of a better life. Why should the person breaking the law get an advantage over the one who taken the legal path?
The west is looking a huge problem as illegal immigrants flock to it overrunning the welfare systems and housing. Rights that have been fought for over centuries are vanishing under population pressure and growing intolerance as citizens watch newcomers demand that their rights be protected above all others. Unfortunately many who come for a "new" start bring their own baggage with them being unwilling to allow any deviation from what they had at "home" Women's rights and freedoms are among the first casualties.
Each illegal immigrant can justify their "right" to be another country. After all their needs and wants are paramount. The law is surely an ass and therefore really doesn't matter.
Why not fight to make your own country better? It took centuries to evolve western countries into the tolerant(mostly) democracies they are today. People fought and died to make it so.
I am very afraid that in the end we will end up will civil war when political correctness cracks and people fight to get their own freedoms back.

Sonia Minwer-Barakat Requ
Sonia M4 years ago

Good article,thanks for sharing

Deborah F.
Deborah F4 years ago


Marianne H.
Marianne H4 years ago

Teresa, America is not free to "break" into any country it wants. The United States is not a thug. Unfortunately, the entire world expects us as the Leader of the Free World to also be the Policeman of the World.

I think you're referring to Imperialism, but you may be thinking of Fascism, or Communism.
When a country "breaks" into another country, that is an Act of War (think Hitler during WWII). When America went to the Middle East, it had consulted with leaders throughout the entire world, and did it on a basis they thought was justified. I'm not saying I agree or disagree with those actions, but it did not occur as you imagined it did. It was an enormous process that took months with leaders from everywhere. Thank you.

Marianne H.
Marianne H4 years ago

Ernest R, I'm not sure what reputable website you think you found that some people entered America with "illegal" papers. Not true, but anybody can write junk on the internet.

What is true, is that some people are descended from criminals brought to America. The difference is they were French female prisoners who had the choice in France to be beheaded or head to America. Many chose the former. Those convicts who came to America arrived in New Orleans, where they were promptly married off to the highest bidder. This was to help populate the region and was agreed by the two countries hundreds years back. That was the way things were done--historically. When you look at crime rates in New Orleans or Louisiana at large, you may consider that the DNA is proof of what once occurred.

Australia is another example. The country was a former penal colony. England sent its prisoners there because its prisons were bursting at the seams with convicts.