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 Rodrigo Gutierrez

Rodrigo Gutierrez

We made it out. We’re making it. We’re not multi-millionaires, but we’ve got a good life.
If I wasn’t living here in Columbus, I would stay here in Ohio, maybe Westerville. We’ve lived in California, lived in Ohio. I think Ohio is a pretty good place to work and raise your family. Here there’s not that craziness of being in a big city, and all the chaos that goes with that. So I gotta say that Westerville will be the place for me, in the future, to purchase a home and grow my family there. 
Even though, going to good schools doesn’t guarantee you being somebody in life. It all depends on the person, how hungry that person is to make it out of where they’re at. So you can go out to Westerville, and they’re one of the top schools in the country, but if you don’t set yourself to succeed, you’re not going to do anything. There’s kids that went to inner city schools, and I, personally, can vouch for that, friends who grew there, and we made it out. We’re making it. We’re not multi-millionaires, but we’ve got a good life. So now that I have kids I want them to go to have a little more and better than what I had growing up. 

It’s amazing. Me, and other people that have struggled just to get a license. Y’know, those little things for me are the greatest. People take getting a license for granted. Somebody that couldn’t get a license and now can get a license is one of the best feelings ever. Knowing that you’re the same, that you have the same rights as other people. It’s great, it makes you want to work harder for the years that you spent waiting and getting the “no no no no.”

A lot of people don’t understand the struggle you go through when your father gets taken away from you or your mother. They chose to come to this country and give you a better life and they’re getting penalized.
My father was forced to leave the country, to adjust his immigration status, and our family was broken up. And not just us. Hundreds and thousands of families, not just here in Columbus, nationwide. Everybody struggles. A lot of Hispanics need guidance and more education on immigration laws. I know it’s unlawful to enter the country illegally… but back when the first people came to America, why did they come to America? For a better life. So that same theme of immigration is still true to this day. 
And you know, we put on our happy face. But inside the house, it’s a whole different atmosphere. My mother, she’s here by herself, and she has to work here to maintain her house that she owns. The house is paid for and she doesn’t have any debt or anything like that. My brother, he’s married, has a kid. My sister, she’s married, has three kids. One of my sisters is in the process of getting married and my other sister’s just going to school. And even though we’re grown, we still need our father here. Right now we’re just waiting. It’s a long and expensive process. Thousands and thousands of dollars are spent on lawyers. 
There should be a little more education and a little less hardship, better ways to fix your status without breaking your family. I was fortunate to be an adult when my father had to leave. And my other siblings – we’re five but we’re all over the age of 18, and that made it a little bit better. Other people get separated and they’ve got newborns – and a lot of people hurt. A lot of people don’t understand the struggle you go through when your father gets taken away from you or your mother. And it’s not because they’re killers or they robbed somebody. It’s just that they chose to come to this country and give you a better life and they’re getting penalized. And I understand, it’s law and they broke the law, but there should be better ways to deal with situations like that. 
Barbara Fant

Barbara Fant

Collin Morelock

Collin Morelock