By Vanessa Vargas
I was born and raised in (South Central) Los Angeles to Mexican immigrants who, like so many before them, had immigrated to the United States in pursuit of their American Dream. Every day since I can remember they have tirelessly worked their fingers to the bone fueled with the hope that their children would one day go to college and have opportunities that they could only dream of.
For my teaching residency I was placed in a neighborhood adjacent to where I grew up. It is a community no different than the one I grew up in and one I knew very well because of its proximity to my childhood home. It was a community notorious for its underperforming schools, poverty, and high crime rate. But I knew better. I knew that its residents were much more than the statistics that defined them to the outside world. The residents were people like my parents and neighbors. It was a community of immigrants who daily strived for a better tomorrow despite great dangers and lack of opportunities. These were not the Mexican immigrants Mr. Trump had so infamously alluded to at the beginning of his campaign.