This I Believe: It’s Hard to be a Child of An Immigrant


Sara Campos, Creative Contributor

Senior Sara Campos was born in Tucson, Arizona, but her family had immigrated from Central Mexico. While growing up, she faced many obstacles being first-generation including financial hardships and discrimination . In this essay, she writes about those experiences and sympathizes with what difficulties immigrant families have to face. After high school, she wants to go to college and become a social worker.

I believe it is hard to be a child of an immigrant. My parents crossed the Arizona-Mexico border with little to no education, not a lot of money, and no English. They established our home in the land of the free with their blood and sweat. My dad works construction and it is extremely hard for him because he is getting old and he is not as strong as he used to be, yet he is out here in the Arizona heat, struggling to provide for me and my family. We are a single-income family, so there is no money spent freely. My mom is a stay at home mom. She does most of the housework so that I do not have to worry about it when I get home from school. I am grateful and very proud of my parents for facing the biggest difficulties so that I do not have to. I thank God that I am truly blessed with such dedicated parents.

Academically, they could not help me get through school or teach me English. I had to take ELD classes with a counselor to learn English because my parents could not teach me at home. I was behind in class due to that. Whenever I went out with my parents, I was obligated to be their translator, even though I was still learning English myself. It was frustrating and hard because no one understood their broken English. It is frustrating even to this day because my mom still has not learned English.

When I was younger, it was hard to adapt to two cultures at once. I was mocked and made fun of. One time in middle school, I was walking with my best friend to lunch, and a boy was standing at the entrance to the lunchroom with his friends. As we were walking in, he stopped and asked us for our green cards in order to let us in. It made me feel like I didn’t belong. Then while I was in Mexico, people I knew and loved would flat out laugh in my face because according to them, my Spanish wasn’t adequate.

I feel like I am not from here nor there, I am from the in-between if there is such a thing. In Mexico, I am too Americanized, and in America I am discriminated against. I think of how my brother is in the military and how he is sacrificing and dedicating his life to a country that wants us to leave because we are children of people who once were illegal. I also feel mistreated by Mexico, whenever I go over, because I am not treated like a real Mexican. I am Mexican and I am American. This is why I believe it is hard to be a child of an immigrant.