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Studio Discussion: Opportunities

Los Americanos studio discussion participants

Where are the opportunities for a "good life?" And how does my definition of a "good life" differ from yours, or that of someone who lives in Mexico now? New immigrants to the U.S. are looking for a "good life." Where are the challenges in this search?

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John Phillip Santos photo

John Phillip Santos

  • It is important to stress ... the deeper kinship that Latinos have for building a new sense of what it is to be American . . .
Liliam Lujan-Hickey photo

Liliam Lujan-Hickey
Regional chair of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Las Vegas; President of the USHCC Foundation

  • I want to teach all the Hispanics that if they learn the system of the United States they can become successful entrepreneurs, and I am teaching that to the youths too, no more drop-outs.
Oralia Mercado photo

Oralia Mercado
Executive Director, Mountain Plains Agricultural Service

  • . . . this country is rich because of the Latinos; I think that we have a lot to contribute.
Sam Byrd photo

Sam Byrd
Executive Director, Idaho Migrant Council

  • . . . the economic impact of illegal immigrants . . . indicates that there is a positive [effect]; in fact, the economic downturn will be worse in that state and all of the states if they weren’t here.
Jesse Gutierrez photo

Jesse Gutierrez
Executive Director, Nevada Hispanic Services, Inc

  • There [are] studies that [illegal immigrants] contribute much more money than those people who are contributing to the taxes because they never take it back.
Antonio Salcido photo

Antonio Salcido
Engineer, Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory

  • The reason why people come here is because if I am in Mexico and I weld a piece of metal, I make only 50 cents an hour. And if I come to the States, I make $5.50 an hour. I come here legally or illegally because I need to survive.

  • The awareness needs to be raised so that we all understand and get to know one another.
John Phillip Santos photo

John Phillip Santos

  • . . . we want to enjoy economic success that allows us to reflect on ourselves, to reflect on our societies, to reflect on our spiritual values.
Oralia Mercado photo

Mercado/Simpson Exchange
Mercado: Executive Director, Mountain Plains Agricultural Service; Simpson: former US Senator

  • Don't talk about immigrants and illegals in the same breath. They are totally different, totally different and they will always be abused, they will be used, and it is happening all over America.
Mito Alonzo photo

Mito Alonzo
Probation/Parole Officer for the Idaho Department of Correction

  • I know that I have made a difference in a lot of people's lives because I was able to communicate with them at the time of the arrest or helping the victim.
John Phiilip Santos photo

John Phillip Santos

  • We may see very different experiences of the immigrant life emerging that are much more fluid, much more bicamerel in the sense of going back and forth between homelands and the United States
Leslie Mix photo

Leslie Mix
President/CEO, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Northern Nevada

  • We do get the best of the best because it is very difficult to cross hell and high water to get to our country and come here without family, without language, without education, people bring hard work.

  • . . . they have access not only to the Hispanic market but now they have access to the whole market when you can speak two languages.

  • . . . we have a huge Hispanic workforce, we have an emerging market that is Hispanic businesses and then we have a small sector that is Hispanic business professionals.
Martin Torres photo

Martin Torres
Head Consul, Salt Lake City Consulate of Mexico

  • Just a few years ago, we were pointing fingers at each other, "Well, it's your problem . . . [No,] it's your problem." Well it's both. We need to sit down in a bilateral dialogue because it is a bilateral problem.
Estella Zamora photo

Estella Zamora
President, Idaho Human Rights Commission

  • I feel like if we don't deal with the issues, the concerns of the community, then we are not going to get where you need to be or where you want to be.

  • . . . we need them [Mexicans], we want them in our communities doing those jobs, and they appreciate those jobs —but keep them off our streets, we don't want to see them there— that's a concern. That's an issue that we need to deal with.

  • They take them to Mexico and they pay them whatever and they don’t make a living and those are things we need to talk about.
Angeles Jacobo photo

Angeles Jacobo

  • I know that education is the key to success and I want to be educated because my parents did not have a chance to go to school so I want to go to school and be a role model for others as Judge Gutierrez is a role model for me.
Sam Byrd photo

Sam Byrd
Executive Director, Idaho Migrant Council

  • I want to encourage the dialogue, because although it is painful, I think it is through dialogue that we build the bridges of understanding.
Peter Padilla photo

Peter Padilla
Vice President/General Manager, Azteca America Television and KREN-TV, Reno

  • But I do believe things are getting better in the United States. I think people are beginning to realize that America stretches from Argentina to Canada. We're all Americans. We're all after the same objectives, the same goals. We all want a great life.

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