Faces of Immigration

U.S. citizen speaks out

Arik Ruiz came to the U.S. when he was 14 years old.  He was born in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and both of his parents are Mexicans.

Ruiz came by himself. His main reason for coming to the U.S. was to study, but what really pushed him to take the step is that he suffered bullying at his school in Mexico, and the city where he lived was not safe for him.

Concerned about the high crime rate in Mexico, his parents decided to send their son to America, where they thought he would have a better life and more opportunities.

Ruiz is now 29 years old and is looking to open a foundation to help children with disabilities. He graduated from NMSU in 2010 with a degree in physical therapy. His aunt is an American citizen and she adopted him before he enrolled in college, which will allow Ruiz to live in the U.S. legally as a United States citizen for the rest of his life.

Ruiz has not forgotten where he came from and is aware of the current immigration debate.

“America is about different cultures and Trump has to work out things for all people and for the 11 million undocumented immigrants that are in the U.S,’’  Ruiz said. After living here for more than 15 years he is convinced that American people welcome migrants most of the time.

He said the United States is a country of freedom, but Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric represents a huge challenge and risk for undocumented people.

“I think that we have to speak out for all the people that cannot do it, especially for those undocumented people,” he said.

 

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