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Melxis Sutter

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Description

Melxis and her family moved from Venezula so her brother, who has cerebral palsy, could have more oppurtunies and live in a society where he faced less stigma.

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0:04:55

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Please contact Immigration History Research Center staff for permissions not covered by this Creative Commons license.

Transcription

Hello, my name is Melxis Sutter and I am from Venezuela, it’s in South America, and my immigration story is not the same as other stories. I didn’t come to the United States for money, nor for my own education. We had money, we had a home, I had a good school. The reason that we came was for my brother. He has cerebral palsy and he needed help. In my country, people like him did not have resources. They cannot study. They do not have medical care. And they are practically nothing to society. He could only go to school until he was 12, to some special school that were extremely expensive. And my family was blessed to have the money necessary for him to go to that school. After that, a principal in another school took him in until he was 14. And by that time we had to figure out what to do. He was not a nothing to society. We loved him and wanted him to have more opportunity, like anybody else. And we felt the need that we had to change that. So when he was 13 and I was 14, my parents, who are LDS, decided that is was best to part and ask the Lord where to guide us. My dad is from Chile, and we were considering Chile. They have great education for my brother, the economy is good. The country itself is doing really well. So we thought for sure the Lord would send us there. But then somebody had mentioned the United States and we thought it couldn’t hurt to possess that as an option. We prayed and we felt strong that it was the United States and that was really hard for my dad especially. He grew up in a wealthy household where he never had to work or do hard labor and for him to come as a third class citizen was a really difficult decision, but that he knew that the Lord had sent us here he went with the Lord. He never looked back, he never complained. Once we got to the United States he said this is our country now and we will obey the laws. And we did, we took this as our country and we loved it the minute we step off the plane. My dad had to do a lot of labor jobs, cleaning floors, which he had never done, to give just a little example we had people who would do that for us in our home. We never had to do laundry, we rarely had to cook and we had a good life pretty easy. So for my dad to do that and have two or three jobs sometimes to me it made me feel more love for him and appreciates for all the sacrifices that he made for my brother. Like I knew he loved us because he would do anything for us. Now coming to the United States was a big change. The language was different, it’s still hard for my parents. Obviously I was young, I was almost fifteen by the time we came, so it was easier for me to learn the language and for my brother he picked it up a little bit, he is special needs so it is hard, but my brother did have the education and resources he needed. We were able to talk to therapist and psychiatrist for him. We were able to take him to school until he was 21 years old. He was able to hold jobs. There are many, many good resources in the church too and the gospel here in the United States. Where there are activities weekly for special needs children. And here we wouldn’t get the dirty looks that we would get in Venezuela because he was special. And here is different there are more loving and kind people. I am grateful for the United States and for the freedom that we have, in his case especially. Though it was hard, we have to get accustom to a life we had never experienced before, I am grateful, I have never complained of that. I cannot because i know we have been extremely blessed. At the time we had been hit by the economy as it is now. The president, at the time the president was Chavez who had been the president for three years, and yet we still had not suffered any difficulties regarding the government. We got out just in time at the fact that we did is also a huge blessing.