April 18, 2022

An Immigrant Speaks: Don’t Let America Become the Country I Left Behind – with Soraya Z. –[Ep. 117]

An Immigrant Speaks: Don’t Let America Become the Country I Left Behind – with Soraya Z. –[Ep. 117]

As the immigration crisis continues, it is important to listen to the voices of immigrants who came here legally. Many have contributed greatly to our society and have worked hard to achieve their American Dream. Soraya Z. is a legal immigrant who is...

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As the immigration crisis continues, it is important to listen to the voices of immigrants who came here legally. Many have contributed greatly to our society and have worked hard to achieve their American Dream. Soraya Z. is a legal immigrant who is concerned about our open-border policies and the overwhelming surge of illegal immigrants. She lives near the border and shares with Linda her first-hand accounts of the negative effects of illegal immigration. She also expresses her fear of America becoming like the country she left. America is a welcoming nation, but we are risking our national security and sovereignty with current immigration policies. Listen as an immigrant speaks and shares her heart for America. 

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Linda: Welcome. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the Prosperity 101 Breakroom Economics podcast. My name is Linda J. Hansen, your host and the author of Prosperity 101 Job Security Through Business Prosperity – The Essential Guide to Understanding How Policy Affects Your Paycheck, and the creator of the Breakroom Economics online course. The book, the course and the entire podcast library can be found on prosperity101.com.

I seek to connect boardroom to breakroom and policy to paycheck by empowering and encouraging employers to educate employees about the public policy issues that affect their jobs. My goal is to help people understand the foundations of prosperity, the policies of prosperity and how to protect their prosperity by becoming informed, involved and impactful. I believe this will lead to greater employee loyalty, engagement and retention and to an increased awareness of the blessings and responsibilities of living in a free society. Listen each week to hear from exciting guests and be sure to visit prosperity101.com.

Thank you for joining with me today. This is a spur-of-the-moment podcast, but it's a great follow-up to the one I did last week with Todd Bensman from the Center for Immigration Studies. Todd and I talked about the horrendous situation happening at our Southern border and the risk to our national security and sovereignty actually. We talked about how many people are being victimized, how many people are actually pawns in a game of power, and our heart breaks to see what's happening to so many people who are coming in, in search of freedom from around the world. But also our heart breaks because we know that this influx of illegal immigrants, they are being lied to as they are being promised many things that America may not be able to deliver in time.

And American people are being lied to. We are being stretched to the max in our economy and our security, and for those of us who don't live near border towns, it may seem far away. It may seem like an issue that doesn't really affect our day-to-day, but it will affect our day-to-day for generations to come.

Today, if you have not listened to the previous episode that I did with Todd Bensman or to other episodes that I did with people from Federation for American Immigration Reform, I did an interview with Susan Tully and with Tom Homan, those are great interviews to get some information about what's truly happening at our border.

But now I have someone who lives there. I have just met a new friend who lives near McAllen, Texas, which is a very hot spot for the border. She's a second-grade teacher and a very dear woman who I know you'll want to hear from. But she's agreed to be interviewed just a real first-person account.

This is not someone who heads up a policy institute. It's not someone who is a journalist, not a politician. It's someone who has seen things with her own eyes and so I wanted to bring this to people because I know so many who cannot really understand the enormity of what is truly happening and the human tragedy of what is happening at our Southern border.

So welcome Soraya. Please-

Soraya: You did good.

Linda: Yeah, thank you.

Soraya: You did awesome. Yes, that is my name. My name is Soraya and I am a teacher. I teach second grade. I live in Texas, about 15 minutes from Mexico.

Linda: Oh, that's great. That's great. And how long have you been an American citizen?

Soraya: I have been an American citizen probably for 18, 20 years, but I have been in the United States for 42 years.

Linda: Wonderful. Thank you.

You told me a little bit about Del Rio, some of the things that were happening in Del Rio, and in some of my previous episodes, we did interviews around the time when there were like massive migration into that area and the people were under the bridges. There was not enough food. There was not enough water. Not only did that create a problem for the immigrants who came but, obviously, the border patrol was stretched, the law enforcement was stretched. But what was that like for local citizens?

Soraya: Well, I know that when I spoke with people from Del Rio, they said it's a small town. It's not a big town so they only have a couple of stores where the people can go and buy food, and it presented a problem for them because they were running out of food. There were so many people coming in that really the town didn't have enough food for the citizens of the town.

Now I live very, very close to McAllen and I'm in Washington, DC right now. And as I share the experience with you as we got in the airport, I noticed a lot of kids and I was really surprised because I thought, as a teacher, these kids should be in school. It didn't dawn on me until minutes later, "Oh, my goodness. These are not kids that go to school here. These are illegal children with the parents or their friends coming into the United States."

Our flight was from McAllen to Houston, and I would say that 70 to 80% of that flight was illegal people in that airplane. I know because my husband was at the window, I was in the middle seat and the person next to me could not buckle in, and I started having a conversation with her.

I noticed that all of them were carrying brown bags and inside the bags, you could see yellow blankets and they were just so many of them. I could see like a sleeve, a plastic sleeve, purple, transparent, where they were having their documentation. We were checked in, like we had to show ID, we had to show our phone with the-

Linda: The boarding pass?

Soraya: ... the boarding pass. They just showed the documents and they kept on going.

Linda: Oh, that's amazing.

Soraya: So they had already, I don't know if they had presented the documentation before or the border patrol just take the documentation. They just showed that purple envelope, and they kept on going.

So, my amazement is what my husband told me. I didn't notice because I was pushing my suitcase and I kind of got stuck, but he said, "Did you notice everyone in first class, everyone, looked like illegal immigrants?" And I-

Linda: Because they were carrying the folders, and they had the same type of bags. Yes.

Soraya: They have the brown bags. Yes.

I want you all to know, those of you that are listening, that we don't have a hard heart. I mean, the lady that was sitting next to me, first of all, she's five months pregnant. She has endured a horrific trip. The person in front of her is her husband and then to the side of the husband, two kids. She was coming from El Salvador. I asked her, I had a long conversation with her, and she said it took them 17 days to get to the United States.

I asked about the coyote, if they had been mistreated because we hear horrendous stories.

Linda: Yes, there are horrendous stories.

Soraya: And she said, no, her mother lives in Los Angeles and her siblings, too. The mother is about to have her residency already fixed. So they paid the coyote and that because it was hired while they were in El Salvador, it was a decent man who brought them as soon as they left El Salvador, he brought them all the way over here to the United States. So they were not abused in any way. They had-

Linda: They were one of the lucky ones.

Soraya: They were one of the lucky ones because she shared it with me that they ate most of the time, even though there were some days that they didn't have food or water. They slept in houses that I guess the coyotes have where they are able to stay.

But she said that next to them there was several groups and one of the groups was kidnapped by the cartel, and they paid... They were asking for a ransom $10,000. I don't know if it was $10,000 per person or the group, but they were asking for ransom.

Linda: Likely 10,000 per person from what I've understood. And a lot of times when people can't pay that, that's when we get into the human trafficking situations where they become sex slaves or indentured laborers, servants and things and it's really a horrendous travesty that happens.

You mentioned all these children, and I know in my last episode that I did with Todd Bensman, we talked about how so many children are being somewhat rented because families are allowed to come in. Well, sometimes the children come in with people other than their parents. They come in, maybe the parents rent their child out to another person who can then claim that child as their own to get into the country, whatever, and that's a horrible situation of child exploitation. It's obviously not legal, but this is happening quite frequently.

So you mentioned all of these children, and when I think about my podcast for employers and employees, and I mean, really everyone, but this is going to affect generations. I mean, we're not talking just about a whole cultural shift or a population change. This is going to affect generations of people spiritually, mentally, emotionally, financially, physically in terms of where people can live and what types of economic environments they can live in. This is such long-range effects.

We talked about Title 42, which is being lifted. Evidently, the Biden administration wants to lift Title 42, supposedly the end of May, and they're projecting 18,000 illegal immigrants coming in per day.

Soraya: Oh, my God.

Linda: We cannot process people that fast. What's that like to live in these border communities and having this influx of migrants?

Soraya: I'm pretty sure most of them are going towards the north, but how could it not affect us when it's just so many a day? At some point, some of them will have to stay in the Rio Grande Valley.

I also know, I heard this morning, as a matter of fact, in the news that they believe that by 2030, we will have 20% of the population in the United States by illegal, 20% of the population will be illegally in the United States. That's a lot.

Linda: That's a lot, yeah.

Soraya: That is a lot. Because imagine it's something like we have an inflation that came out this morning, 8.6% is the inflation, and some people don't think that several things have been included into that number. But if it's really like gas and a couple of other things, it could be up to 12%.

So at what point do you stop giving aid to the people? Imagine what would happen if the government says "We cannot be able to provide help, whether it is health or housing or schooling to millions of people that have come in?"

Linda: Well, that's exactly what's happening in a way now and that's because as Margaret Thatcher said, "The problem with socialism is, eventually, you run out of other people's money."

Soraya: That's right.

Linda: And you have so many people in America right now working and trying to provide for their families. They're paying higher taxes, they're dealing with inflation, they're paying exorbitant prices at the gas tank, and they are the ones literally paying for these illegals to come in and get that transportation, that free flight in first class to wherever it is they're going. They are the ones paying for the healthcare, the education, the clothing, the housing, everything for these illegals.

Now, like you said, we do not have a hard heart. America is a melting pot. We embrace diversity.

Soraya: We're a benevolent country. Very benevolent country.

Linda: We are a benevolent country, and we've been able to be so because of the policies outlined in our founding documents-

Soraya: Absolutely.

Linda: ... that allow us to have the freedom, the capitalism, the freedom to create wealth, which has allowed us to have enough wealth to share with others, and to provide taxes back to our government so that the government can help take care of people, too.

But right now, when you're having the government say, "Hey, come on in. We can take care of you," we literally can't do that because we're going to have more people feeding off the government than you have people paying into the government. It becomes an enormous problem, and that's when nations fall.

Soraya: And you see the lady that was sitting next to me, she seemed genuinely nice.

Linda: Oh, I'm sure there's so many that are, yes.

Soraya: I pray for her. I pray for her. I got teary eyes. I will continue to have her in prayer.

But the problem may not be her and her family. We don't know who's coming in. We don't know the intentions of their heart, we don't see the heart of the people, so how many people... And even the border patrol. I was talking to border patrol like two weeks ago, and I was asking, "Is it true that we have like 50,000 people ready to come in?" He looked at me and he said, "We don't have 50,000 people. We have way more than that, and it's not people from Central America coming. It's people from countries that we didn't even know existed."

Linda: Yes. Yes. I've heard there's people from all over the world, nearly every country and the beauty or the unfortunate thing about it is we don't really know. We don't vet these people when they come in. They come in, in mass droves really, and there's just not enough time or manpower or resources to properly vet them. Some are, some are not, but they get sent all over the country.

We do not know if they're terrorists. We don't know if they're bringing drugs in. I mean, our fentanyl crisis in America is horrendous, and this fentanyl coming in, the Chinese, the cartels, everything, they're just bringing in and they're destroying our country with fentanyl. And if this was some other country allowing it or doing it to us, I mean, it would be almost like an act of war because they are truly destroying a lot of our population.

So when we can look at all of these things and I've heard the horrendous, horrendous stories of the sex trafficking, the child sexual abuse, the stories of people seeing and finding bodies and undergarments and things of little children in the woods and you hear these horrific stories.

We know that there's great stories, too. I mean, we're not saying that every illegal immigrant that's coming in is a bad person. Of course not. They're coming in, many of them in hopes of a better life. I mean, who wouldn't, right?

Soraya: Absolutely.

Linda: I mean, if somebody said, "Hey, we're going to help pay for you to have a better life," well, like most of us would say-

Soraya: Yeah, [crosstalk 00:16:33] yeah, absolutely.

Linda: ... that we would do it, but they don't understand the big picture. They don't understand the whole thing that's happening here, and they are being just pawns in a game. So, so many of these people aren't as fortunate as the lady that was next to you on the plane. They end up being victimized and truly being traumatized for, I mean, it's just wounds that will never heal really.

Soraya: And one thing that we haven't really stopped to think is the assimilation. They come into a new country and because I came from another country and I have been here for so long, I have one child, I am in love with this country. I've traveled to so many countries in the world for long periods of time and I can tell you that when I come to the United States, when I get in whatever port I'm coming through, man, I just kiss the ground because there is not another country like this country. I have been able to assimilate. I have been able to experience the American dream, the American culture.

But I also know people that have been here for a long time and they don't want to have part of it. People that are even residents of this country and I say, "How come you haven't become a citizen?" They have become resident, but not citizen, and they will tell me to my face, "I don't want to become a citizen of this country." So my question is, "Okay, so you want to reap the goods of the country-"

Linda: You want to reap the good, yes.

Soraya: ... "but you would not want to become a citizen." I have a very hard time with that.

So I'm hoping and praying, and then the people that are coming in and we need, people that are listening to me that are believers, we need to start praying that these people that are coming in and the government is letting them in with double intention because they think, "Okay, those are votes that we will get one day," we need to start praying that these people, if they're allowed to vote whenever in the future, that they will vote for what is right. That they will vote for, oh, just like they were given a chance that it would not be because of the party that allowed them to come into the country, but for what is best for them and their family.

Linda: Yes, exactly, and part of that is education. So many people are coming to America and they understand it's a land of opportunity, but they might not understand why. I say that this is true of a lot of American citizens who don't understand the reasons why we have this great country, but when they don't understand why they're coming here and having this opportunity, then they are unable to protect it.

That's one of the reasons I'm having all of my Prosperity 101 materials also translated into Spanish, and I'm so thankful for my translator, she's wonderful. I am excited to be able to offer that to Spanish-speaking individuals soon-

Soraya: Awesome.

Linda: ... because even though I firmly believe that America should have English as the primary language, I mean, we need to have our language as part of our American culture, I truly believe that. But people are coming here and they're coming here by the millions really, and we need to be able to speak to them in their language to help them understand "You're coming here to America for opportunity. Do you know why we have been the land of opportunity? Do you know why that Soraya could come to America and achieve an American dream and be able to have a beautiful life here in America? It is because of our founding document. It's because of these Judeo-Christian principles that we have upheld throughout the course of history of our nation."

Are we a perfect nation? No, we are not a perfect nation, but we try to rectify things over time. We have resets where we get things back on the right track, and I pray and hope that we can have a reset the right time.

Soraya: Absolutely.

Linda: Not the Great Reset, but a reset of a spiritual reset. We can have a revival in the country. We can have a revival of understanding. A spiritual revival, but also a revival of understanding and a renewed appreciation for our founding documents and what truly made this country great.

Soraya: Amen.

Linda: There's nothing wrong with being nationalist in the sense that protecting-

Soraya: You love your nation.

Linda: We love our nation, right, and a strong America makes for a stronger world.

So if we have a strong America where we can create this wealth, we can be the philanthropists that are able to help people all across the world, and we have a stronger America with a strong economy that's able to absorb immigrants, I mean, this is what's important. But if our system of government is moved into a socialist type of system, we will not be able to accommodate that. We will not be able to support the American dream for people.

Soraya: That's right. I don't want America to become the country that I left behind.

Linda: I hear that from so many immigrants.

Soraya: And I believe that the only reason why America is what it is, is because in this country, anyone, anyone is able to dream the big dreams, and they can become a reality. There are countries where people, they don't even know that they're allowed to dream. And we can dream because we have that magnificent, I call it the second-best document ever written. Because to me, the first one is the Bible-

Linda: Agreed.

Soraya: ... and the second one is the constitution of this amazing, amazing in country. And it is because of those individual rights that we have that nobody can trample on them, that we can become whomever we want to become. As long as we follow the law, we keep our focus on God and we just go towards that goal that we set up, we're able to do it.

Linda: Yes, it's amazing.

Soraya: I mean, how do you explain that people coming to this country with a dollar in their pocket? I came with a couple of thousand dollars thinking I'm going to go to school, I'm going to graduate, I'm going to have a dream here. I mean, those $2,000 at Rice University went like that.

Linda: That's amazing.

I have another lady that I interviewed one time on my podcast. Her name is Elena. She and her husband were raised in Soviet Russia, and they immigrated from Ukraine. When they came to America like 12, 14 years ago, I mean, I think they had something like $20 and two suitcases, and they have a beautiful home, a family, three beautiful children, wonderful jobs. They've been able to achieve an American dream, and they finally became citizens. It took them a long time.

That's one thing I'd love to see America help people become legal citizens at a faster pace because it's very heartbreaking for immigrants such as yourself, who went the legal route, to then see the abuse of the immigration system now where people are allowed to vote, even though they're illegal, or they're allowed to get welfare or healthcare, all these things, even though they're illegal and this is not okay. I mean, we're here. We want to support the beauty and diversity that is America by allowing people to come in, but we just ask them to come legally.

Soraya: That's right.

Linda: Yeah. Well, thank you so much for your time, your story.

Soraya: Thank you for giving the opportunity to tell my story and to share with people what I saw at the plane and the fact that we need to not let our guards down. We need to pray and pray and pray for America.

Linda: Yes, yes. Well, and I thank you for sharing this story at the plane because we hear so many bad stories. So there are still some really good immigration stories, but I also appreciate the story you shared about the Del Rio Bridge. Because if people didn't see all that happening, right now that's part of the reason why the government is moving people out into other areas around the country now, too, because they don't want them all gathered around in a situation like that. It creates-

Soraya: They don't want people to see what is really happening-

Linda: Yes, I was just going to say that I'm glad you did.

Soraya: ... and I tell you the ticket of the lady next to me was almost $1,250, and I'm telling you, 75 to 80% of that airplane to the max was with illegal people. We are paying for it.

Linda: Yeah, we are paying for it. Then when we see things like that massive migration crisis that was at the Del Rio Bridge, which became so noticeable to so many people, and then they tried to hide it by eliminating any overhead drones or media that could report on it or anything. But now they're just sending people out to different places around the country.

Soraya: Which [crosstalk 00:25:17] worse, according to what I hear.

Linda: Yes. Yes, it's worse. So these local people, like you mentioned, that there's no groceries in the stores or you don't have the resources you need, so the tax-paying American citizens are suffering as we're trying to take care of all of these other people. So it's truly a crisis.

I hope that anyone listening, obviously, go to prosperity101.com. You can listen to the other podcasts that I've done on this episode. You can listen to ones with Todd Bensman, with Susan Tully and with Tom Homan. Those are great episodes on the border, but also, if you listen to those episodes, you'll find out a lot more resources.

But please educate yourself on what's truly happening at the border and then contact your elected officials to give of your opinion of this. Because we, the people, are still in charge of our government, and it's only this way because we let it be this way. So we need to take our government back. We need to take this back and defend our borders, become a strong nation again and when we are a strong nation... Like in self-care, you can't pour from an empty cup, you can't help people from a nation that is crumbling from within so we need to help America be strong. So thank you so much for your [crosstalk 00:26:39] thank you.

Soraya: Thank you. Thank you so much and God bless you.

Linda: Oh, God bless you, too. Thank you.

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