On the ImmigrationMIC, welcome Miriam Enriquez – Director Of Philadelphia’s Office Of Immigrant Affairs – and she’s so awesome!
She takes me through her career – from her time in law school, to starting out as a prosecutor, to the DA’s Office – and how immigration always came up as a topic, fueling her passion.
Her parents were from Nicaragua, and Miriam was born in the US during a visit, describing how she is considered to be an ‘anchor baby’ by some – and how she detests the talking point about coming to the US the “right way” as her birth was by a combination of luck and resources – and she believes everyone deserves a shot at the American dream. She also tells an anecdote about being in 4th grade and misspelling a word sounding it out in Spanish – a reminder she kept with her that her journey was “different” than others’.
We delve into the topic of “Notario Fraud” – she describes it as the perfect crime, because it is a way for people to make easy money by preying on their own communities (of all backgrounds), and tells me about how “Edwin’s” – an undocumented Guatemalan’s life was ripped apart – he went to do his taxes, was told he could apply for citizenship: instead he was left $15,000 short and was deported to Guatemala where he could no longer work because of a disability. We also go into “Sanctuary Cities” – their purpose and their limitations – and how confusing the information is, and the various factors that people need to learn about.
Miriam knows the power of storytelling and humanizing – after all, she herself was inspired by seeing a Latina homicide DA – and how her confidence was inspired because of such moments. She sends an important message to all those that need immigration reform – there are a LOT of people fighting with them, and on their behalf – something she was reassured by the airport protests a couple of months ago.
Miriam, thank you so much for being so passionate and such a fighter using your story to pay it forward! – also we shout out Welcoming America – Philadelphia has hosted the most Welcoming events (welcomers unite!) – and I look forward to meeting you in person one day and eating some Philly cheese steaks!