Destination America
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ManuelManuel: Mexico

Manuel's wife

Manuel in his hometown in Mexicoan abandoned building

bus ride to the border

Watch the VideoManuel is a Mexican migrant worker. He cannot tell us his last name because he is one of millions of Mexicans who illegally cross America’s borders every year. The Golden Door followed Manuel as he bid goodbye to his family in Mexico and made the border crossing, en route to work in Chicago, Illinois. Manuel makes periodic trips to the U.S. to earn money to support his wife and children.

1. Have you been able to return to Mexico? If so, how long did it take you to earn enough money before returning?

I returned to Mexico on January 5, 2005 and lived in Chicago with relatives for five months.

2. Is it difficult to cross back into Mexico? Do you have to sneak over the border or can you cross without border authorities asking to see the paperwork that permitted you to be in the United States in the first place?

When taking the bus from Chicago to Mexico there are usually no difficulties crossing the border.

3. Do you think this will be your last trip or will you probably have to go to the United States again?

Yes, I will return to USA again in the up and coming year (both date and amount of time were not revealed).

4. In Mexico, how long would it have taken you to earn the money you made in the United States?

The money that I earned in Chicago in five months is equivalent to three years' salary in Mexico.

5. If you were able to move your family to America, would you? Or would you prefer to stay in Mexico?

If I could make the same salary in Mexico doing the same work then, yes, I would prefer Mexico to the USA, but since the work and money are there then I must return to the USA.

Source: Series: Destination America

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