I’m An Illegal Immigrant. This Is How My Life Is.

Yes, I am an Illegal Immigrant. I’m not proud of it. I’m aware that there’s a lot of people here that don’t like people like me, thinking we come here to steal their jobs. Maybe we are, because our employers get to pay us very cheaply and they can get away with not giving us any benefits and they can get away with not giving us a clear job description. I guess I’m on the better end of things, to be honest. There are people out there like me who have it much worse. The point I’m trying to make here is yes, we steal the jobs and try to thrive in conditions that regular citizens and legal immigrants will not in their lives dream of ever doing.

Let me describe my job. I’m a caregiver for children with special needs. I make food for them and feed them. I give them baths and clean up after them. I’ve held their poop in my bare hands and have wiped it off walls and door knobs. When they throw fits, I prevent them from hurting themselves, other people, and destroying property which means that I’m usually the one getting hurt in the process. Basically, I’m a nanny – “Manny” as described by my good friend. I love these kids. 3 years of taking care of them has made them become very close to my heart like they’re my kids.

I’m classified as “live-in,” meaning I live here at the same facility I work at. I get paid $2000 flat rate every month and I get free food, housing, internet, and all other utilities. A good deal if I only work a regular 8 hours. However, this job is in essence a 24-hour job. I have been sleeping in a couch in the living room for the past 3 years of my life. The reasons for this are two things: One – I have to be able to respond right away if a patient wakes up in the middle of the night and throws a fit. Two – The “Staff Room” so labelled at door with a printed, laminated piece of paper is actually the Boss’s mom’s room. We’re supposed to tell Labor that it’s where we sleep and rest, but really a simple look at the stuff inside will tell you that an old lady has been the only person staying there.

Why did I start this blog? I’m not sure anymore really. A while ago I was upset because my boss asked me to help him lift a few heavy objects and throw away some trash from the other facility. He knows it’s my day off and I told him I’m sick but he told me “it’s not that heavy anyway.” Fortunately he changed his mind when he got here and told me to rest. It’s funny isn’t it? I’m upset so I decided to buy a domain and start blogging.

I’m also upset about a lot of things like not having backup some nights and I’m left here by myself with 6 patients. I’m upset that I have to sometimes eat instant ramen or buy my own food when the deal was that they would buy my food. I’m upset that the boss’s mom thinks that I’m their personal servant and makes me drive her around and do things that are clearly no longer part of the job. I have a lot of complaints but I guess my main complaint, is that I can’t openly complain. I can’t have them firing me and it’s not really easy to find another job given my status.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel like I owe them for giving me a job. Otherwise my family overseas that I support would have nothing. I’m the sole breadwinner of my family since my father passed. Regardless of how much I would love to go back to my homeland and just live a simple life, it’s no longer an option as I have a mother to support and a daughter to give a good life to. Her mother has left me for another and has a family of her own now. I don’t know if it’s my fault for leaving to work here or if she never really loved me enough to wait for me. Either way, I consider it the price I had to pay for wanting more for my family than a simple life.

Sometimes I find myself regretting everything I had lost for being here. I want to go back, but I’m no longer a child. I have responsibilities and if I have to wipe excrement off a wall, not sleep well at night, or deal with what people here consider abusive conditions I would endure it. However sometimes, it just gets too heavy and I have to complain, at least here, anonymously and hope that things turn out well in the end, whatever that end may be.

I actually have plans to go home. I’m trading in cryptocurrencies which I’m hoping will eventually supplement my income and eventually grow my money to a point where I can realistically go  back home and have enough money to support my family from over there. I know it doesn’t sound like a solid plan to many people, but when you’re desperate you cling to anything that gives you some form of hope.

Despite all my complaints, I love America and I am thankful for the opportunity that I was given and for that, I pay taxes even if I could get away with not paying.  I am thankful that despite my conditions, I’m alive and my family overseas is living a comfortable life with the money I send them.

I’m not sure how often I’ll be posting as this is just an outlet for me to voice my frustrations. If you’re reading this right now and think that I should go back to where I came from, my answer is don’t worry, I will. I’m not here to take any of your jobs – I couldn’t even if I wanted to. I’m not out here to take anything from any of you and I’m not here to hurt you or yours. I’m here because life is hard where I came from, and I only want to give my family a better life.