What makes my case the most interesting – I didn’t have any sponsorship, no relatives, no sponsor, no amnesty. I am here based solely on my merit. – Jose Aldana
In 1997 Jose Aldana came to the United States to pursue a degree at Ozarks University in Arkansas in his area of academic passion, chemistry. He loved chemistry so much that he also obtained his Ph.D. in nanotechnology from the University of Arkansas.
Needless to say, it took a great deal of focus and perseverance. Fortunately, Jose had an excellent example in his parents, who instilled in him the same work ethic they had. A middle class family by Guatemalan standards, they worked hard, took their children to church, and were never dependent on the government. Jose emulated his parents’ virtues, which helped him to transition when he came to the U.S.
Coming to the United States was not that difficult, as he was here on a student visa with a merit-based scholarship, working to obtain his degree. There was not an “iron wall” or any “anti-immigrant sentiment” that he experienced.
“As long as you work hard,” he said, “you can come here. What is difficult is staying here. That’s a little bit harder.” Jose does not see the immigration system as unfair, but it is certainly tough. Tough as it was, it was definitely worth it.