Dear Next President,
My name is Jessenia Sanchez and I was born and live in Philadelphia, Pa. I have lived here for almost my entire life with my parents who are undocumented immigrants. We have had to move time from time because of our financial situations.I have seen them and my whole family struggle on finances. The reason I write to you now is because I want you to help make a huge difference in the lives of undocumented immigrants. I have seen and been in the same situation in which many others face in their daily lives such as not having enough to pay rent, bills, food, clothes, etc. I’ve been there and I want you to help others so that they don’t have to struggle as much as my family did. You should know that a family can’t live under the minimum wage, its just not enough. Millions of immigrants enter the United States in hope for a better life and future, but really they come here to struggle more.
As a person whose parents are undocumented immigrants, I have seen them struggle day in and day out. One major problem is that undocumented immigrants don’t make enough to sustain a household. I remember when I was just eleven years old and my mother was only making $7 an hour to take care of five children, bills, and food. Now you may wondering where is my father? Well he was imprisoned for 4-5 years. We barely had enough to buy food. We could only afford beans, eggs, cheese, and tortillas. We couldn’t get food stamps. This one moment I will never forget, my mother had just come from work, she was hungry so she ate a piece of cheese and tortilla. My niece ,who was living with us at this time, comes up to my mother and asks her for some. She eats the food and my niece wants more, but there was no more that could be given. So my mother starts to cry because she can’t afford to feed us. At times we skipped meals and everyday I saw my mother crying because she was so stressed she couldn’t fully sustain our family. Why didn’t the government help us or many others in the same situation? We just came for a better future. Many families won’t be able to afford things because they are undocumented and can’t afford to pay things because of the very poor pay that they receive.
Because you haven’t experienced economic issues like I have, you might not understand. But consider this imagine you’re 8 years old, you wake up every morning at 5 o’clock. You get dressed with the same clothes from yesterday. You get your food from your mother and head outside. Your dad has been waiting for you to go to work and start picking at the fields. You aren’t able to attend school anymore because money is needed at your household so you are forced to work without having any say in it. Education is not your first priority money is and has been that way for a while and has become a normal way of life, the only life you’ve ever known. Your younger siblings also have to tag along because your mother works and can’t afford to have someone look after them. Working long hours until the sun sets. Your back is aching, but you know you have to do the same thing all over again tomorrow. So you just fight through the pain and keep on going.You finally go home and see your mother crying as she reads a letter. The letter contains an eviction notice because you haven’t been able to pay the rent for the last months. Time has passed. It’s christmas and you have been waiting to see your gifts, but sadly there are no presents because your family had to cover other cost. Time for the harvest again. Your father tells you on your lunch break “Don’t worry all this work will be worth it later on.” He dies in the early fall. Now you will have to sustain the family and hope that it will all be worth it one day. This is the only life you have and the only life you have ever known to exist.
I’m not the only one who had experienced financial problems because their parents are undocumented immigrants and they can’t find good paying jobs or they can’t stay with one because they are undocumented. In fact, according to the article “5 facts about illegal immigration in the U.S”, it states, “There are approximately 5 million undocumented immigrants a year.” This example one can infer that approximately 5 million undocumented immigrants are living on paycheck to paycheck or possibly less. That is not a living in the land of the free and where hopes and dreams are made. Also, according to another article “The fruits and labor of Mexico’s cheap labor”(https://news.vice.com/video/the-fruits-of-mexicos-cheap-labor), it states, “In Mexico they earn as little as 7 dollars a day and here they work for 7 dollars and hour.” This example shows they are living on the minimum wage; $27,300 per year. A mobile home for rent cost between $200-$800. The workers get paid around $2,000 a month. They can barely afford the rent including food, clothes, electricity bills, water bills, and car payments. How do you expect them to live off on so little? You need to change the minimum wage not just for undocumented immigrants, but for everyone. They work day in and day out to make a living. They came to this country for a better future, but it looks and feels like a nightmare. Wake up now.
I hope I have shown you that the minimum wage is not enough for a family to live on and hopefully you will help now. This isn’t something that just affects me or undocumented it affects everyone in your country who is working for minimum wage. We can’t keep continuing on this road. You are in control now make a change so that America is the land of the free and won’t deny anyone. You have the power use it even by something that may seem little can have a huge impact on the whole country. Raise the minimum wage to $12. Make sure that each job has some sort of benefit to it. Make sure that every child has an education so that they can be successful in the future. You want to make America flourish again, help me with this and if you look into the future it is beautiful.
Sincerely, Jessenia Sanchez