Welcome

"I came to America to make more money.

It was a trend."

Jade I.

Deanna Gatchalian Ilas

December 16, 2019

The plane was stuffy and filled with too many nervous people. They have too much baggage on them, too many reasons to move to America. I move to make money and have more stable life, but they move from war and family. Even if they do leave, they have their family. I only have myself. My husband and one-year-old son are still in San Juan. 

I walk to customs, my dad’s words come to mind. “Don’t become nurse. All you need is to marry a good man.” I trudge along and follow the rest of the line to get my stamp. The U.S. stamps. 

When I step up into the line to get my passport stamped, someone says, “Welcome, what is your name?”  I answer with Deanna Gatchalian Ilas. When I get my passport stamped, something else is handed to me. 

My green card. That’s what’s inside. The thing stating that I’m a permanent resident. I’m here now. I'm in America. I walk through the airport with an I’m-a-permanent-resident-of-America-and-I’m-proud look. Finally. After uncomfortable and lonely plane rides and loud people. Disagreeing fathers and complicated spouses.

Welcome to America.