Immigrant Heritage Month: Our own Alejandra Gonzalez’s incredible story and goals for the future
My parents made the choice to unlawfully bring my older brother and me to the United States, shortly after my 5th birthday. Poverty and the impending danger posed by drug cartels forced my parents to flee their home and country for their children’s sake. Life in America fared much better for my family. My undocumented parents went from sleeping on the floor of an attic with their children to becoming homeowners and gaining their Legal Permanent Residency.
Healthcare is a human right. My belief that preventative healthcare should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their income or immigration status, stems from personal experiences. As a first-generation student and immigrant, I have made my career goals revolve around equitable access to healthcare for poor immigrant communities.
Growing up undocumented meant omitting regular annual checkups to a doctor’s office. I only saw physicians if it was truly necessary, and by then the illness had grown significantly bad enough to cause pain. As a child, I suffered from chronic ear infections and my mother often resorted to home remedies due to the high cost associated with doctor visits.
Children should not have to forego preventative medical care because their parents can't afford it. Healthcare is a human right that many documented and undocumented Milwaukeeans aren’t granted. Wealth and education disparity, in addition to geographical accessibility, are all contributing factors to health inequalities that I plan to address after I graduate from Alverno College.
My ultimate goal is to create an army of mobile clinics. I plan on bringing physicians and other healthcare professionals to marginalized, underserved communities. In addition to treating members of the community, doctors and nurses will educate people on ways to prevent serious ailments, and in turn foster a positive relationship with the healthcare system.
While I have not yet achieved my ultimate goal, I have been taking large strides in preparing for it. For the past 2 years I have worked as a strong advocate for immigrant and refugee rights in Milwaukee through Voces De La Frontera. Additionally, I have had the distinct pleasure of working as a Legal Assistant at Soberalski Immigration Law, where I personally have been assisted through a successful DACA enrollment.
At Soberalski Immigration Law, I have been working with people that have been impacted by the changes in immigration policy the most. Through all the various cases that we handle, I have seen the financial and emotional tolls our clients have poured into gaining their humanity in this country.
One of my jobs as a legal assistant is to acquire final dispositions on criminal charges for our clients. I take that responsibility seriously and will work hard to acquire relief to our clients because I relate to the pressure that undocumented immigrants feel to be perfect. We aren’t allowed to make mistakes, because if we do, we can easily be deported and torn apart from our families.
The mental and emotional anguish that our clients experience is similar to mine, and to be able to help them through it all has been incredibly rewarding. My most favorite moment is when clients gain their legal residency and their faces and bodies relax as the restrictions placed on them are instantly gone. This is why my immigration status has not deterred my dedication to my community, and as long as I live in Milwaukee, I will continue to work and fight for a higher standard of living for all and continue to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform.