For the first installment of our two-part blog post on the reasons for which people immigrate to the United States, we focused on, “push factors.”
Push factors are reasons that people leave their home country and immigrate to other countries, often illegally and in the face of such consequences. Such factors include war and conflict, drought, famine, religious persecution, racial discrimination, political intolerance, lack of economic opportunities, and more. Often, an immigrant’s push factors are a combination of these.
Today, the United States of America is still, “the land of opportunity,” and people still believe in, “the American Dream.” That’s not why Magdalena Velazquez immigrated to the United States in 1985, but there is no better example of why this is true.
In our last blog post, we shared a few of the books we’ve been reading and have met and held discussions about every week for this past year. While Maggie joined us a few short months ago, she caught up on all of our readings, and it didn’t take her long to delve into our discussions and cement herself as a leader. Her life experience left no other choice.
During one book club meeting, Maggie shared her immigration story with us, and it’s nothing short of AMAZING. Her path to the conference room table we were gathered around was by far the most difficult and thus, the most triumphant.
During the Civil War in El Salvador, Maggie feared for her and her family’s life on a daily basis. Violence and death were around every corner. Maggie wasn’t the only El Salvadorian to lose family and friends, and witness horrific acts. El Salvador, her beloved home country, was no place to live, much less raise children in. So Maggie, 25 years-old at the time, set her sights on the U.S. Her path to the U.S. deserves a book in itself, and the details we shall keep for ourselves.
One thing she did share about it – and trust us when we say that despite the cliché, we were shocked to hear it – was that she came with $10 in her pocket. Maggie laughed while reminiscing about it, and nothing characterizes the heart and kind soul that she is more than that.
In an age where some of the most powerful and publicized individuals in the U.S. demonize immigrants for their own benefit, and sometimes even out of their own sinister beliefs, Maggie is our angel, and her story is the cure. Everyone, meet Maggie Velazquez! Proud mother, grandmother, wife, first-generation Salvadorian-American, and mover of mountains at Atom Law Group!