Numerous generations of immigrants have come before me, and many more will come after me, on the long road to the United States. Even though the distance between Burgos, Tamaulipas, Mexico, and the cotton fields of South Texas wasn’t particularly great, that trip marked the beginning of a new life for me and my family.
My father promised us a better life by moving us to “el otro lado” when I was six years old. This belief is palpable in South Texas, where generations of people have left their homelands to establish a new life in the state’s southernmost region.
This cultural diversity is what sets South Texas apart from the rest of the state. There is a strong connection to one’s Hispanic heritage in the forms of food, music, and language, but there is also a complete acceptance of and respect for the norms and values of the country in which one now resides. In America, everyone has the same goal: to achieve the American Dream.
Just what does it take to realize the American ideal? The answer to that question has evolved greatly over the years, but my 6-year-old self never would have guessed that I would become the first Mexican-born congresswoman in United States history.
My childhood was spent focusing on the things that were most important to me: my family, my friends, and my job. This is a common way of life for Hispanics. Everyone in my family and community taught me from a young age the value of working honestly and hard from dawn until dusk.
Being a migrant worker’s kid meant that my family was always on the move, always meeting new people, and always having to adapt to unfamiliar situations, but one thing that never changed was our drive to succeed. I always knew that academic achievement was a prerequisite for professional success. To save up for the year’s worth of school supplies, I spent my days toiling in the cotton fields.
Today, however, success is more elusive than ever.
The state of our nation is catastrophic. Our leaders have resorted to blog posts with ambiguous explanations of a recession in order to confuse the American people, despite the fact that inflation has remained near 40-year highs, gas prices have broken historic records, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis has declared that the U.S. economy has shrunk for two consecutive quarters, indicating the country has officially entered into a recession.
As if the dismal state of the economy weren’t bad enough, it’s clear that Americans’ faith in their government has been eroded by the leaders’ repeated failures to stand by them.
The Biden administration abandoned American citizens and many of our allies during their botched withdrawal from Afghanistan. They abandoned our border communities here at home and caused a crisis in Ukraine, costing thousands of lives in eastern Europe.
Here we see a former president of the United States being demonized and attacked for partisan reasons. The liberals in Washington routinely use our democratic institutions as weapons against Republicans, undermining public confidence in government and undermining the morale of the American people.
But Vice President Joe Biden and his team couldn’t care less. Instead of working to alleviate the pressure and pain that so many American families are feeling, they persist in insulting us by using derogatory words to describe us, comparing us to tacos and undermining our culture.
The failure of Joe Biden’s presidency should serve as a reminder of the importance of voting in November to stop his leftist agenda.
Mayra Flores, a Democratic congresswoman, serves Texas’s 34th congressional district.
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