- Posted July 27, 2014 by
Las Vegas, Nevada
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Your immigration stories
Son of Immigrants
I am not an immigrant, I was born in Texas. However, as a child of immigrants, I believe my story is relevant.
My great grandparents on my father's side immigrated through Ellis Island before WWII. My mother was born in Mexico and immigrated with her family to Texas in the 60s. At that time, it was simply assumed that learning English was a requirement.
My mother loved American musicians and actors, and taught herself English by listening to radio and watching TV. In those days, if you needed to go to the bank etc you had to bring an English speaker with you, or learn some English. My mother did marry an American and that made it easier to learn American ways.
I do not blame undocumented immigrants themselves, my mother’s family left unspeakable horrors in their homeland. I blame the system. If the situation was the same as it is now, my mother may never have learned the language and may not have had the opportunity to meet my father. I myself may have never learned to speak English or Spanish correctly, and may never have finished high school. My mother was forced to fit in. It certainly was not easy for her. Her entire family eventually became naturalized citizens. They had to learn enough English to study for and pass the test.
These days instead of most immigrants trying to assimilate in America, we are instead going the multicultural route. I am proud of all my roots. I speak Spanish fluently, and proudly let people know my mother was born in Jalisco. I also took a couple of German classes and have studied the history of Romania to try to connect with roots on my father's side. However, although it does upset some family members on my mother's side, when I am asked if I consider myself Mexican, I say "no".