Alfredo S. – 36, Pacific Grove, CA, Born in Mexico

When I first came to the States from Mexico in 1999, I stayed with a friend. I came on my own and spent days in the desert without food and water. I knew there was a job waiting for me so I could work and send money home. I returned to Mexico within a couple of years to get married and to bring my wife back across the border. The second trip was much easier. I now have three children. The oldest is 13 and the youngest five, all of whom were born in the U.S. I believe I would qualify for DAPA if it ever clears the courts.

In Mexico, I graduated from nursing school but I couldn’t make enough to help my mom after she and my father separated. Once settled in the States, my wife and I went to school to learn English. We made it a priority because we knew our future success depended on our fluency. We are making sure our children are bi-lingual both in the home and in our community.

My dream is to re-establish my nursing career by returning to school here through a state program that offers guidance in the renewal of vocational certification. It’s my calling to help people and there always seems to be a shortage of nurses. In the meantime, I support my family and my mom, who remains in Mexico, by working two jobs in a restaurant. Except for my brother, who lives here and helps me send money home, the rest of my family is still in Mexico. I miss them and worry about them because of the growing violence there.

I want my children to be safe and have all the opportunities this country provides.  I hope to make them proud by making the most of my own nursing background, even with all the obstacles I face in being undocumented. It’s also very important to me to give back to my community. I help others with translations so they can get proper medical and legal assistance. There is much more I can do once I’m allowed to continue my nursing career. I will work toward realizing my full potential. A path to citizenship would certainly make a difference.