Immigrant Heritage Month: The story of Daniel Gutierrez Ayala


My story follows the story of my parents. They worked day and night, from one shift to the next, without complaining. With just time to wipe the sweat from their foreheads, they worked. They migrated north following a dream. The "American Dream" which I live, the dream that they longed so much for my sister and me.

I was born in Toluca De Lerdo, a place that I don’t remember, a place from which my roots come from but I know so little of. Because of the effort and dreams of my parents I was able to immigrate to the United States for a better life. To the north, that's what they call it. I was only two years old and I have no memory of the country from which I came, not even the smell that everyone who visits speaks of.

I started a life in the United States, I attended school, I made friends, I lived in a world without worries. Not knowing that my parents lived with worry every day. Concerned that they would be detained by "la migra" and deported. The time came in which I found out that I did not have a lawful status in the country I call home, the only home I know. Since then, knowing that I was not accepted in a country that I had lived in since I was a child did not prevent me from following the path to my dreams.

I graduated from high school and was the first in my family to attend Cardinal Stritch University. I was awarded several recognitions for my work in social justice and had the honor of helping several immigrants become US citizens. Shortly after, I obtained a position with the office of Attorney Melissa Soberalski. Never in my life would I have thought that at such an early age I could work under an exceptional attorney dedicated to her clients.

My dream is to become an immigration attorney and fight for the immigrant community in the United States. Also, maybe one day I can argue a case in front of the Supreme Court. This and more is something I could not do without my parents, who today continue to support me in the fight for my dreams.

In this month we honor the heritage of immigrants, it is important to recognize the achievements we have made in this country and remember the dream that brought us here.