In October of 1979, Oscar Mendoza fled for his life to California in the trunk of a car after his uncle was killed in the Salvadoran Civil War.
At the same time 19-year-old Oscar arrived in the U.S., Martha Rico Aguilera arrived from Mexico, 16 and pregnant. Mendoza got a job in an auto detail shop; she in a balloon factory, printing balloons for Disneyland. They met on the bus to their respective jobs and soon got married.
Though they applied for citizenship in the early 1980s, it was a long and ardous path to get there. “We kept meticulous records,” says Oscar, “and that sealed the deal for us. The INS tried to deport us in 1981 but our recordkeeping helped prove our case. We got amnesty in 1986 but we weren’t actually granted citizenship until the late 1990s.” Their story was picked up by a Washington, DC correspondent and, in 2013, made national news. (For the complete story, visit http://bit.ly/QvGT0i.)
Their American Dream began to materialize in 1985...
Overall, laboratory owners' sentiments on the topic of offshoring are still split; 55%, up from 31% in 2005, feel it's un-American and unfair to their employees, and another 30% say it's just part of the globalization of our economy.
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