I Interviewed My Father, Reynaldo Martinez

1091 WordsApr 25, 20165 Pages
I interviewed my father, Reynaldo Martinez, who is a 53 year old Salvadoran immigrant and has lived in the United States for 33 years. I posed the topic question of how the treatment of Latinos and Hispanics have changed over his time in the United States, and if it has gotten worse or better. His overall view was that the current political and social environment can sometimes be harsh right now to Latinos, and in his opinion discrimination towards them has gotten worse. He said, “I think there’s an underlying resentment about the direction the country is going.” The resentment being that some seem to blame Latinos and immigrants are contributing to the decline of the country. He thinks major developments and national world events have…show more content…
After being in the states for ten years, he applied for citizenship. He said he could have at seven years, but he did not feel he had a big rush to do that. I asked if he would have felt a bigger rush to apply for citizenship now if he came later than then because of the way people see immigrants now, and he said more than likely he would have. He was not illegal though. He was a legal resident that could do much of what a citizen could, but he could not vote. When he and his brothers came from El Salvador, they lived in Brooklyn, New York for a while. It was a polish community; a neighborhood of immigrants. He did not face any problems there. Then they moved to Manhattan into a predominately black and Puerto Rican community. The issues he was concerned with was security and safety issues. Since he lived in minorities neighborhoods he did not face much discrimination. In 1993, my father, mother, and one year old sister moved to North Carolina. There he faced some more prominent discrimination. My father was making phone calls to check for listings for apartments that were for rent in Raleigh. A lady answered and he told her his name. With his name and accent she could probably tell he was Latino. She had told him that they prefer not to rent to Latinos, which was disheartening to hear. I asked him if he thought that could still occur today. He replied, “I hope not, but
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