Rosie is a young 11 year old girl living in Immokalee, Florida. Her first language is Spanish and so her story is shared in Spanish. Translation was done in English by Grey.
This is Rosie, pictured on the left.
Rosie is cared for by her grandparents and her aunt in Immokalee, Florida. She is a United States citizen.
This is an excerpt from Maria, Rosie’s aunt on their family situation:
“For 7 years my nephews lived in Mexico. Yet due to a near death experience that involved my brother’s family and a dangerous drug cartel, My brother decided it was no longer safe for Rosie and her elder brother to be in Mexico. Although my sister-in-law would long to be with her 2 eldest children, in Mexico her and my brother conceived 2 children. Thus she spoke to my mother and father about her distress to keep her family together. Yet, we all knew that it was not safe for Rosie and her brother to be in Mexico anymore. As a result my parents and I took on the responsibility to look after my 2 nephews. We do not regret any of the choices we have made. Yet I see the difficulties my parents being older adults face in having to be parents again and help raise 2 pre-adolescents.
It is heartbreaking to see my nephews attempt to live a “normal” lifestyle without their parents. I see the sadness my nephews have to celebrate holidays such as “Mothers day and upcoming Fathers day” without their parents. I see the distress they go through after a phone call from their parents. I see the hesitation my little nephews in Mexico have in saying “good-bye” to Rosie and their elder brother. Nevertheless I see how this separation has affected my entire family’s emotional and social well-being.
I always say that the United States forgets who they are affecting as these U.S. born children will someday grow up. They will remember “everything” this country did to them as children and they will long for change and the United States will regret all they have done.”
Pictures are Worth 1,000 Words
Below is Rosie’s pain in her own words.
Top Caption reads: “United Family”
Body Reads: ” I was very happy in this drawing because we were one united family and we were very happy. Nothing could happen but then after me and my brother came to the US, we were seperated. I share my story because I want to hear what you have to say. ”
Rosie compares her above picture with this one where she states:
Above caption: “Incomplete Family”
Middle caption: Siblings without parents
Bottom caption: In this drawing I show you how I feel now
Rosie adds in a seperate letter in Spanish: Yo digo que la otra cosa que no me gusta es que los Estados Unidos separan a familias de sus seres queridos. Yo digo eso porque a mi las leyes de los Estados Unidos no me dejo vivir mi niñez cerca de mis padres.
I also think that i don’t like that the United States seperates families from their loved ones. I think this because to me the laws in the United States don’t let me live my childhood close to my parents.
Por esa razón cuando sea grande yo quiero ser abogada para poder pelear para que este cerca de mis padres.
For this reason, when I grow up, I want to be a lawyer so that I can fight so I can be close to my parents.
Recuerdo todos los días el dia que yo me vine para los Estados Unidos. Mis padres se pusieron a llorar y también mis hermanitos se pusieron a llorar. Yo estoy muy triste porque nunca me había separado de mi mama y mis hermanitos.
I remember every day the day that I came here to the United States. My parents started to cry and I did too and so did my brothers. I am very sad because I have never been seperated from my mom or my brothers.
Yo no se porque ponen “unidos” si no puedo estar “unida” con mi familia.
I don’t know why they put “united” if I can’t be “united” with my family.