How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

‘What every immigrant parent tells his kid’: What's your story?

Photo by Nisha A/Flickr (Creative Commons)


There's a conversation that began on the site recently after I posted a scene from the Oscar-nominated film "A Better Life," one in which the immigrant protagonist explains to his teenage son in so many words why it is that he makes the sacrifices that he makes.

The character, an undocumented gardener named Carlos Galindo played by actor Demián Bichir, says:

“You are the most important thing in this world to me, mijo. I wanted you to be able to be anything you wanted to be. That would make me feel worthy, if you became somebody.”

Recently, reader Cesar Zambrano tweeted after watching the film clip: "That is what every immigrant parent tells his kid."

And although the words of these conversations throughout the generations have varied, or sometimes been unspoken, it's true to one degree or another in many immigrant families. The message resonates. Here's what another reader, Miguel Corona, shared yesterday:

While I don't remember my parents ever having a conversation like this with me - they really didn't have to. We as a family knew about their sacrifice. We saw how hard they worked for us. They were the first to rise in the morning before the sun came up and the last to turn off the lights at the end of the day.

I'd like to hear more readers' thoughts. What conversations like these took place in your home? How did they make you feel then, and did they have an effect on your life?
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