Maria Teresa 
a much younger woman 
just wanted to find peace--literally 
looking for safety for herself 
and her daughter. 
what did she have? 
what did she bring with her that could be offered? 
most of the times Maria Teresa felt that her needs 
were much larger than her skills 
she was “legal” 
held a visitor/non-immigrant status (B2) at her arrival 
going back home was not an option 
the house was taken 
the animals were sacrificed 
the land abandoned 
fear was in their hearts and souls 
to maintain legal status 
Maria Teresa learned USCIS/ICE’s requirements 
carefully crafted to prevent people with no resources to stay 
to learn English 
must change visa status from visitor (B2) to student (F1) 
had to offer proof of a US bank account with a minimum dollar amount 
the number was equal to a full year tuition plus room, board and other expenses 
that year, it was set for $ 35,000 
Maria Teresa shivers remembering the requirement 
still today, gets me overpowered, crushed, defeated 
let’s play with numbers
Maria Teresa says 
I had $200 when I arrived 
my visa status didn’t allow me to work 
should I say more? 

Miryam Espinosa-Dulanto is a faculty member at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley. Dr. Espinosa-Dulanto holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum Theory and Educational Policies for Linguistic Minorities from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Espinosa-Dulanto's writing as well as her academic research departs from identifying herself as a woman of color, a Borderlands Mestiza, and a non-mainstream person in the US. From that perspective, she explores the construction and transmission of knowledge. Dr. Espinosa-Dulanto is a veteran teacher, she has taught in urban and rural settings, in the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. In addition, Dr. Espinosa-Dulanto is an avid ethnographer who uses narrative inquiry, photography, and poetry as tools to learn and communicate. Currently, she is working in two projects, a Poetry Collection, "Finding Home in Memory: Stories of Immigration, Diaspora, and Dis/location” and, she is conducting research on the USA/Mexico border
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