The following Letter to the Editor was written by Adalberto Castrejon. Castrejon is a fourth-year marketing major and president of the UNI chapter of Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity.
My parents immigrated to the U.S in 1997, one year before I was born. Growing up my parents instilled in me the values of hard work. I would see my parents make countless sacrifices to ensure that my life was filled with more opportunities than what they had. My mom would always tell me that I had to “echarle ganas,” or “work hard,” to be successful in life. She would confess to me her dreams about my future: “You have to work hard so that one day you can have your own office with air-conditioning in it.” She would emphasize the air-conditioning every time because she didn’t want what my dad was going through, for me. My dad worked at a brick-factory and would come home late in the afternoon drenched in sweat. They didn’t have any air conditioning in the factory where he worked, so the hot and humid days in Iowa were twice as painful for him. I saw my dad struggle at his workplace from a young age, and my mom recognized that, so she tried her best to ensure that my life didn’t mirror his.
I owe it all to my parents, if hadn’t been for them immigrating to the U.S, I know I wouldn’t have had the same opportunities. Their hard work provided me the opportunity to live my dreams. Immigrants make our country prosper. In 2017, there were about 29 million immigrants working or searching for work in the U.S., making up 17% of the total civilian labor force. The brothers of Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity Inc. University of Northern Iowa Associate Chapter recognize the need to support immigrants of all backgrounds. We are raising awareness by partnering with the “I Stand with Immigrants” organization and 150 other colleges and Universities across the country to celebrate the 4th annual I Stand with Immigrants Day of Action. Stop by Maucker Union on Tuesday, October 22nd from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM to show your support for immigrants. We have to take action and have others hear our voices.