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College hosts Immigration Monologues

Alicia Smith | Wednesday, March 25, 2009

La Fuerza, a club that celebrates Latino heritage, presented Immigration Monologues Tuesday as a part of their Action Week activities.

The monologues consisted of five speakers, who discussed their personal stories of moving to the United States. Both professors and students told their stories of immigrating to America.

Luzmila Camacho-Platero, a Spanish professor at the College, talked about her many struggles while living in the United States. She immigrated to America from Spain. Camacho-Platero was a student, and eventually decided to stay. After that decision, she was forced to try to get a work permit.

“I think for the amount of $5,000 dollars I got my working permit,” Camacho-Platero said.

Camacho-Platero also discussed the hardships she faced after living away from Spain after many years.

“After almost 17 years in this country, you realize that you are alone here. You might have a group of friends, but you are alone. You are alone for the good moments and the bad moments,” she said.

According to Camacho-Platero, immigrants often do not feel as though they belong to either country.

“You just don’t belong anywhere. Which, at the same time, there is something positive about this. It gives you a perspective. From outside you see both countries and both societies, and you become more objective,” she said.

Mari Cardenas, a sophomore at Saint Mary’s, is an immigrant from Mexico.

“I came to the United States when I was 11 years old and I did not speak any English,” she said.

Cardenas talked about her father’s struggles working in the United States.

“My dad came to the states and like I said, he fits the stereotype of the Mexican immigrants. He worked in the fields and he would go from state to state,” she said.

Her father was 16 when he first came to the United States. Since her father moved back and forth, he too did not feel like he belonged to either country.

Cardenas said, “It was kind of like he had two identities, one from over there and one from over here.”

Randa Al-Assadi is currently a foreign exchange student at the College from Iraq. Al-Assadi emigrated from Iraq to Syria after the war began in 2006.

Al-Assadi decided to come to Saint Mary’s in order to become successful.

“I’m happy to be here and be part of the Saint Mary’s students. I’ve been here just six months, but I feel like I’m learning. Now I’m working hard and hoping to reach my goal of finishing my college education,” Al-Assadi said.

Latifa Oudghiri, a teacher in the South Bend Community School District, immigrated to Canada and the United States. She said she has had many struggles while living in America.

“That enchantment changes into homesickness,” she said.

However, even after her struggles, she found that there were many positive aspects of immigration as well.

“You meet a lot of people from all over the world. My best friend is a Russian, and she lives right now in Saudi Arabia. We always keep in touch,” she said