Feb 13, 2012

Immigration Reality: Immigrants search for better life and understanding

Another personal immigrant story from Wisconsin. The local paper is doing a series to introduce its readers to the real lives of Mexican immigrants in its community. Laudable!

GazetteXtra: "Jorge Islas-Martinez sometimes stares at the underbelly of a passing train and wonders how he survived. "I hid underneath it," he recalled. "Suddenly, the train started to move. The only thing I could do is hang on." Inches off the ground, he clung to the cold mass of pulsing steel in the darkness. He prayed hard as the train picked up speed into California. "I thought about my mother, my brothers," he said. "I thought I would die."

More than 25 years later, he recounted the harrowing details of eluding immigration officers at the border in Tijuana, Mexico. "It seemed like hours and hours underneath that train," Islas-Martinez said. "I had my eyes closed. When the train stopped, I crawled out, and I could not feel my body. I was so scared. My heart was pounding."

Since his dangerous journey to the United States, Islas-Martinez has come a long way. Today, he is a United States citizen who works as a translator, teacher and bill collector. He volunteers widely in his community and owns a home. He also is a vocal activist for immigration reform." read more

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