My name is Jovita, and I was born in Mexico. I immigrated to the United States 21 years ago. I came to the United States because I wanted to have a better life. I was born in a very small town. I am one of six children, and my parents didn’t have enough money to feed us. I am proud of what I have been able to achieve since I came to the U.S.
I am a farmworker, and I have been working with the same farmer in Ohio since I settled here. I pick apples, asparagus, peaches, and cherries. I used to migrate to Florida to pick strawberries. We chose to settle here in Ohio because my son is growing up, and we want to give him a stable environment. Even though we are no longer migrant workers, I chose to continue to work in agriculture.
When I migrated to the United States, it was extremely difficult. People speak a different language than mine. Things are much different here than where I am from. I had to familiarize myself with these new surroundings, along with the community members who I have met here. It’s not easy. You have to put effort into it. I wish that the community members where I live understood that we are proud of everything we do. I wish they would make us feel like we are useful. I wish that people could see the value in our work. Not everyone wants to do this work, but we do this work to feed the community here in Ohio and the rest of the country.
I am thankful to God for everything I have achieved and everything I have done. I hope that whoever reads this story understands that we — immigrants — are hard workers.
Mi nombre es Jovita, y nací en México. Inmigré hace 21 años a los Estados Unidos. Vine a los Estados Unidos porque quería tener una vida mejor. Nací en un pueblo muy pequeño. Soy una de seis hijos, y mis padres no tenían suficiente para alimentarnos. Estoy orgullosa de todo lo que he logrado desde que llegué a los EE.UU.
Soy trabajadora de campo, y llevo trabajando con el mismo ranchero en Ohio desde que me establecí aquí. Yo cosecho manzanas, espárragos, duraznos, y cerezas. Antes yo emigraba a Florida a cosechar fresas. Decidimos quedarnos en Ohio porque mi hijo está creciendo, y queremos proveer una vida estable. Aunque ya no somos trabajadores migrantes, decidí seguir trabajando en la agricultura.
Cuando inmigré a los Estados Unidos, era muy difícil. Las personas hablan otro idioma al mío. Las cosas son diferentes de donde yo soy. Tuve que familiarizarme con mis nuevos alrededores y con la comunidad que conocí aquí. No es fácil. Hay que echarle ganas. Yo deseo que la comunidad donde vivo entienda que estamos orgullosos de todo lo que hacemos. Quisiera que nos hicieran sentir útiles. Quisiera que las personas vieran el valor de nuestro trabajo. No todo el mundo quiere hacer este trabajo, pero nosotros lo hacemos para alimentar a la comunidad aquí en Ohio y en todo el país.
Le doy gracias a Dios por todo lo que he logrado y todo lo que he hecho. Espero que quien lea esto entienda que nosotros, los inmigrantes, trabajamos fuerte.
There are migrant women who move across international borders, state and county lines to work along the food supply chain and provide for their families. Some of these migrant women are among the 2.1 million immigrant community members who work in jobs growing, harvesting, processing, and selling food in the US, serving an essential role.
Despite the fact that they were named "essential workers" by government officials of all political backgrounds, companies and consumers during the global pandemic, many of these community members are denied basic rights and face unimaginable challenges. They are also often invisible to the people and the communities where they work and live.
Add your voice to the growing list of people calling on Congress to provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented individuals who worked in essential sectors during the pandemic. Call on Congress to support the Citizenship for Essential Workers Act.