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Ricardo and Gaby Padilla

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Ricardo and Gaby Padilla are immigrants from Mexico who came to get citizenship and start a family. Ricardo moved to the States first to secure a citizenship before bringing his family.

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0:02:32

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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.

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My parents Ricardo and Gaby Padilla never thought that 36 years after being married at a church in Guadalajara they would be in US with their two daughters. My dad always says this phrase “It was one hell of a ride” as he explains it was a difficult journey, but with my mom with his side he knew everything will be okay. My dad grew up in Guadalajara his whole life and my mom lived Jalisco since she was a baby. Life in Guadalajara for my dad was very hard since he was poor and lived in a two-room apartment. He would work with his two brothers every day in order to get food for his family and pay rent.

My mom lived in Jalisco. She would be like house mom by working on chores, planting her mom’s garden, and caring for her dog. Jalisco was a ranch area so there was a lot of farms and animals around. When my parents got married, they decided to go to America since both my parents wanted to start a new life and later a family. First my dad knew in his head as well as my mom that in order to come to US they needed their citizenship. After my parents got married they planed on getting them to come to the US.

My dad had to leave my grandparents as well as my mom because they didn’t like the idea of going to America with no money or a place to live on their own and preferred they lived in Mexico since they grow up there. My dad struggle with what will he do in America for example how was he going to get a job? How much is rent? Will we even find a place? It was a stressful even talking about it to my mom. My dad was worried getting the application to be a citizen. May 27, 1980, was the day my dad got his citizenship. Afterwards, the most difficult was packing for clothes, pictures, money, and some furniture. While getting to America with transportation my dad right away had to get job quickly in order pay rent and food.

Today, my dad got a job working as a gardener and my mom is a stay-at-home mom with my dad working every day but knowing it was worth it after having a family to provide. Life today with my mom and dad in Pacoima is very good for them they don’t have any fears at all and not a regret coming to America. My dad still works as a gardener and loves exploring downtown LA. My mom is a house mom paying bills and working hard to provide me and my sister to eat. My mom is now more happy to be living in an area near stores and a hospital than in Jalisco were there nothing, one store in each block. The advice my dad always tells me is “don’t give up because it hard and keep on doing it because it worth it at the end”.