My name is Nadia Ramirez.
INTERVIEWED BY Justine D'Souza

"I just wanted to see my dad. We are really close and it was the first time being without him for so long. He moved in September. My mom, sister, and I joined in December. I was only a kid; I just wanted my dad."


DEPARTED FROM
Bogota , Colombia

ARRIVED IN
Orlando, Florida

YEAR
2001

AGE
10

COLLECTED BY

Nadia found her native Colombia very different from America.

“When you are on the road in Colombia, there is a lot to see. Mountains, animals, people, houses, towns, but the way home from the airport [in America] was just flat good ol' Florida landscape.”

The highlight of Nadia’s arrival in the country, however, was seeing her father.

“I just wanted to see my dad. We are really close and it was the first time being without him for so long. He moved in September. My mom, sister, and I joined in December. I was only a kid; I just wanted my dad.”

Nadia says that her first day in America went “pretty well.” She recalls positive memories of her American home.

“When we got to our new house I was super happy because it had its own playground.”

Years later, however, Nadia acknowledges that immigration isn’t “easy or glamorous.”

“Immigration is about leaving behind everything you know and are used to for a better life. It's about starting over from ground zero, being pointed at, being asked invasive questions. Also…moving legally is not easy. Sometimes even getting a visa to just visit is a pain.”

Immigration came with several hurdles before, after, and during the experience.

“People think one can just make the decision and hop on a plane then it's done. But it really isn't like that; the paperwork and limitations are no joke. Most of the time people choose to immigrate illegally because they have exhausted all the other means.”

Nadia recalls the familial separation she endured and how it affected her views on immigration.

“My family had to be separated for months before being able to move legally and we are lucky. There are families that wait for years. [Immigration] is a very courageous thing to do; it comes with a lot of sacrifice.”


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