“I would have gone anywhere with [my parents], which is why I was OK leaving El Salvador”
This week on Immigration MIC, I speak with El Salvador native, Brooklyn transplant, now living in Long Island emerging immigration activist Brenda M!
Brenda describes her personality as giving, wanting to put others before herself, something that is reflected in her mom’s decision to come to the US and work as an in-house nanny before sending for the rest of the family.
She details her journey to the US, crossing the border at 7 years old, under the care of her father who hoisted her on his shoulders when she could no longer walk - all to find a better future.
Arriving to Brooklyn, Brenda assimilated quickly, and speaks highly of all the diverse neighborhoods she grew up around. However, she began becoming knowledgeable of the limitations of her immigration status. When DACA was announced, it was her mom who helped her file, as she knew the importance of the opportunity that had been given to their family.
In 2011, she moved to Hempstead, but because of the school district’s reputation she would continue to commute to school in Brooklyn, but eventually transferred to Hempstead full time — which meant learning to drive and adapt to a new school environment.
Through her friend Allison, she became introduced to an immigrant student group on Long Island, and has been helping to share information with her community and connect to other people interested in advocating for immigration legislation.
She describes her shock and heartbreak at both the election and the announcement being cancelled - now she’s working to be a voice throughout Long Island and beyond - specifically to help others in her situation realize their potential and be a part of something great together.
Visit www.thehendelmediaproject.com for more information about how this project is following the national immigration movement through local stories AND - to watch my personal immigration documentary From One Mistake for free!