Financial Hardship / Making History / Stories

Ximena S.

Ximena S, 18, Houston,Texas, Born in Mexico

ximenaMy mom left Mexico first, traveling to Texas, before returning for my brother and me. Together we crossed the border a decade ago. I was only eight so I don’t remember much. My father joined us later. Presently, I’m a hard-working student who will graduate from high school this June and go on to Saint Mary’s University in San Antonio in the fall.
My two brothers, the youngest born in the States, and I live with our stepfather who is a U.S. citizen. He has petitioned the State Department for visas for us. We waited for the visa decision in a guest house, along with other families in similar circumstances, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.  My younger brother, who was born in the States, and I were approved but my mother was not. She is being penalized for bringing undocumented children into the U.S.  She sacrificed for us and is still paying the price. She gave me the opportunity to make something of myself in America and I intend to do just that. I will first get a good education and set high goals for my career. I will earn my way and help support my family and give back to my community.

We’re not sure how we’ll make it since my mom, who was the main source of the family income, will have to stay in Mexico for at least six months. My older brother was able to take advantage of DACA. I’m in the process of receiving Resident Alien status with the help of my stepdad. Somehow we’ll survive because we’re determined to overcome all obstacles. It is now part of who we are.

Just because I’m presently undocumented and struggling doesn’t mean I don’t have big dreams. I want to become a Supreme Court justice. I have set my mind on this path and I’m resolute in my belief that I will be successful, that I will be able to bring about positive changes in America. I have seen firsthand how justice always needs new champions.