Gerardo Noriega, Undocumented, Unafraid, Stands Up To Colorado
A brilliant youth is standing up to the state of Colorado and the injustice of a broken immigration system. If he loses his fight, he loses his dream and the citizens of Colorado lose one more of their best and brightest students.
Hans Meyer, an immigrant's rights attorney, stands up for Gerardo at the CIRC press conference. Meyer testified in front of a state legislative committee asking Colorado law makers to kill a bill which forces communities to accept the "Secure Communities" memorandum linking ICE with police departments. The Republican controlled committee, including Rep. David Balmer (R Centennial), insisted on passing the law out of committee anyway.
Gerardo Noriega was brought here from Mexico City when he was 10 years old by his parents in order to escape extreme poverty.
“My brother and I were left at home alone because our parents were both at work. I rarely saw my dad.” Noriega told immigrants2bfree in an exclusive interview.
Despite his father working two jobs, the family was a victim of poverty. There were no extra toys around the house. Going out for a meal or a movie were things rich kids did in the biggest city of the world, Mexico City, also known as D.F. Finally, in desperation, Noriega's parents decided to move to the U.S. That presented a huge challenge for a ten year old who spoke almost no English. Noriega's father obtained the necessary travel documents and soon they were living in a new land.
“I knew some basic words.” Noriega said. “Like ‘hello’, and ‘Where is the bathroom’.” Noriega continued. When Noriega went to school he was placed in an all-English class where it was sink or swim. Either he got the lesson in English or he failed the class. Fortunately, Noriega made friends with a bi-lingual student who helped him with his lessons and taught him how to speak English during that first difficult year.
Then one day, the immigrant student stuck his head under the hood of an automobile. Engines operate the same no matter what language you speak. Noriega was fascinated by how all of the parts fit together.
“Engines are orderly.” Noriega said. “Everything has it’s place. All of the wiring, for example, fits a certain way.” A young person had found his passion! Noriega began to learn everything he could about how cars worked and even began dreaming about changes he would make so the cars ran better!Continued on the next page