I don’t know how to explain what my life was like in El Salvador.
It was very, very difficult. As a boy I worked in the fields with my grandparents. As I got older, El Salvador got more and more dangerous. The police are above the law. They are corrupt and greedy. They targeted me on many occasions because I spoke out against them. In 2013, I was shot four times by the police and was comatose. It took me two years to recover. Then they found me again.
I sold my motorcycle to get a little money together for a train ticket to Mexico and from there continued on to the United States. I was placed in removal proceedings and told I wasn’t eligible for asylum. But then I found Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.
There are only a few people who I fully trust – my NWIRP attorney, Andrea, is one of those people. She worked incredibly hard for me. With her help, with NWIRP’s help, I was granted asylum.
Now, I wake up every day knowing that I am privileged, knowing that my attorney cared about me. It makes me very happy knowing that there are people like Andrea who get up every day to change lives.
Now I make a living working for a furniture company. On my day off, I go to church, wash my truck, and most importantly I get to catch up with my two children, mother, and brothers. I have seen evil. A lot of it I will not share here. But I am so thankful for finally being safe.