From Mexico to Utah, a man gave his family freedom

A life buried to create another

LEWIS WALKER

What is a human being with no true place to call home? And what would it feel like to be abandoned by your own country and risk your life to create a better life for yourself.

“My job is not to be popular, It’s to do what’s right,” said Salt Lake City Police Chief, Chris Burbank. Utah, being one of the highest cities that hold refugees makes it a vulnerable situation for discrimination and racial profiling because they are not from this country, or state for that matter. “People are unaware of the rights they have in this country,” said Burbank.

Efron is a 45-year-old custodian at a Salt Lake County recreation center. He has seen and experienced many things in his life before crossing the border into a country that offered him a much healthier lifestyle. “Thirty years ago I was in Mexico where I was born, and had many horrible things happen to me and my family,” said Efron, whose name is being withheld to protect his identity. He said, at one point he had to sell cocaine to support his family after his mother was killed because of the troubles his father brought to the family. Wanting a much better life, Efron ran away from his home, trying desperately to cross the border and transform his life.

In January 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, there were nearly 11 million unauthorized residents living in the 50 states, which were approximately the same as 2009, but less than 11.8 million in 2007.

“The first time I tried to cross over to the U.S. I was 15, but I didn’t make it very far and bad things happened to me,” Efron said. In 2010 there were 0.7 million unauthorized citizens in the U.S. that were 18 and younger, which is where Efron would have been if he made it the first time. Instead many years later, when he finally made it to the U.S. he joined the highest amount of Immigrants from the DHS source of 2.3 million men of the age’s 25-34-years old.

“Discrimination and racial profiling is not the way to solve this problem,” Burbank said. “The number one goal is to protect the constitutional right of every individual.”  Burbank was very into protecting the individual rights of people as he talked to a journalism class at the University of Utah.

Efron, although has admitted to doing a lot of illegal things just to gain possession of a green card and become a citizen of the United States, would not trade any of the hardship he went through to get to this point of time in his life. “Now that I have made it to a better place, I do not look back at all,” said Efron. Happy to have finally buried his past and created a better one for his children, Efron is happy where his hard work and faith has landed him. “I gave my children freedom that I didn’t have, I had to force myself out of fear to allow them to have a life they can enjoy and I am happy with that,” Efron said.

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