A Young Immigrant's Experience In America | KERA News

A Young Immigrant's Experience In America

Oct 13, 2016

Isaias Ramos came to the U.S. with his parents when he was 8 years old, got good grades and then had to decide what to do after high school. On Think, Krys Boyd talked with journalist Daniel Connolly about his experience

Connolly is the author of “The Book of Isaias: A Child of Hispanic Immigrants Seeks His Own America.

The KERA Interview

Daniel Connolly on: 

… Isaias’ reluctance to go to college:

“He would ask the question, ‘Everyone’s telling me I need to go to college, but why should I go to college? Everyone tells you, you need it to get a good job, right, but a good job doing what? In my mind sight I don’t see college as being that important.'”

… why he didn’t want to go to college:

“A lot of adults who knew Isaias, and cared about him spent a lot of time thinking about what led to his criticism of college. In the end I concluded that his immigration status, and the related problems, certainly was a concrete realistic factor and an obstacle that stood between him and college. But the family circumstances in his case actually, I think, were a bigger factor.”  

… what his story tells us about the immigrant experience:

“His story is kind of a metaphor for the Hispanic youth growing up in America today. So, what I argue in the book is that there’s a great generation of children of immigrants ... This generation has tremendous potential. That for a wide range of reasons, this potential is being lost, and that our society should help the children of immigrants develop their potential for the good of all.”