Jose Adrian Estrada reflects on immigration

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When Jose Adrian Estrada was four years old, he began the journey of a lifetime. His father had migrated alone from southern Mexico to Phoenix in search of a better life. Estrada and his mother followed on their own soon after – a grueling experience spanning some 1,600 miles. 

When they arrived at the border after a lengthy bus trip, Estrada and his mother had to depend on coyotes, human smugglers, while making multiple attempts to cross into the U.S. 

Their first two tries failed when they were turned back by Border Patrol Agents after hours of walking through the desert heat. Their third attempt ended when Estrada and his mother were discovered while trying to keep out of sight in a wastewater lagoon. The fourth attempt was successful when coyotes transported them by truck to Phoenix where the family was reunited, but they were held at gunpoint until Estrada’s father made an additional payment for their delivery. 

In the years since Estrada arrived in America, his journey has continued. While growing up he held a number of jobs, became a taxpayer and graduated from high school. He now supports a family of his own with a successful business and looks forward to attending college and continuing on his path to U.S. citizenship.   

“We’re called immigrants because we migrate to look for something better.” Estrada said. “I feel like that should be the definition. People call us aliens, but we’re all humans. If the United States has an opportunity to give us, then we will take it, and we will make the best out of it.” 

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