A Conversation With Maria Hinojosa And Lulu Garcia-Navarro

Latino USA
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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

The one and only Monday. Joins, me now welcome Lulu. It's it's such a pleasure. I. It is such a pleasure to have you on and to read this book it's called once I was you and it is based around the story. Of how you came to the United States for the first time, tell us that story. Yeah. Well, it's an interesting story. I didn't actually know it like a lot of us. We don't actually ask our parents. So how exactly did I know that you came for example, my whole family we were born in Mexico my dad MPC go of us in Mexico City and dad gets hired by the University of Chicago. He's a medical doctor dedicated to research and long story short he helps to create the cochlear implant. He was an amazing human being. May He rest in peace? So that was in Chicago and my mom, and the four of us kids I was the baby in her arms get on a plane. It's the early nineteen. Sixty's we fly from Mexico City to Dallas and change planes in Dallas, and then we're GONNA fly onto Chicago and. When I finally found out the story when I wrote raising, which is a Motherhood Memoir that I wrote like twenty years ago. You know I found out that there was this whole thing that happened at the airport and that an immigration agent was like you know saying that had some weird skin thing and you know maybe had to put me in quarantine and my mom was like Nah and then I came and I saved the no she didn't say it like this but basically, it was like me Ma Ma Ma you know. She's five feet tall by the way, but stood up and. Know had this kind of moment with immigration agent and and it was a story that I told. Kind of like saying, wow, my mom is such a cool woman like I understand where I get my powerful voice even though she's tiny, she spoke back to an immigration agent. and. Then in the writing of this book, blue is really what happens is that I really understand what was happening there. There were trying to separate you from your mother. They basically told your mom that they were GonNa, take you away and put you in quarantine quote unquote and that she was free to go with her other children but that you would have to stay behind I mean. Can you imagine like? When my mom called me in the midst of and you know Lou that I've been covering this story, the entirety, my career immigration writ. Large. And my mom calls me at the airport. I was flying from one back when we were flying around and in the midst of the height of babies being put into cages, we were hearing the voices. You know we knew this was happening. This is not. This not begin with the trump administration but anyway. Mom. Calls me and she's crying she's like is Gay It could have been me. If I'm a your she was like that was I could have been one of those moms and I swear to Lulu that. By heart dropped I was like Oh. My God. So it's not a story of like my mom. Eh, you know speaking back it's a realized now a story of trauma and that. Wouldn't have happened I think had I not written the book and had the horror of immigration policies becomes so. Crystal. Clear. So inhumane so hurtful and frankly now finally so public You. As you mentioned what brought to Chicago, which is where you grew up, but you always maintained your connection to Mexico and your roots you'd go back and forth. You came here on a green card. When did you become a citizen? I asked this simply because that transition of becoming. An American you said was difficult for you. You. You found it hard to sort of occupy these two spaces. So, it was great because in the writing of the book, I actually had to like do the time line and and then I had to go back and find my citizenship. It was a actually I had just come back from a reporting trip with Scott Simon Scott and I were down inside whether it was December of Nineteen eighty-nine Lau Offensive Little Trenton Webb the FMLN offensive the guerilla warfare was happening inside word and I went down to produce Scott. And I came back and just a few days later I took the oath. Look the reason why it was complicated was because way back then maybe now I am beginning to understand maybe it was because of that traumatic experience in Airport in Dallas I, always kind of new. Like this isn't a certain thing for you. This thing about you being able to come in and out of the United States you've done your whole life. Now. You're a woman you're a journalist you've been to Cuba. You've got you've been tool Salvador you. You know. There may be a time when they say you can't come back and I understood that and so I have to be honest as I am the memoir he was motivated in large part by fear that that my green card could be taken away and that I could not be allowed and this was before this whole conversation of like what's happening now you know this was way before it was a different time but I think I kind of I, kind of knew it. So the thing that happens when you become a citizen in this country is you have to raise your right hand and you have to swear that you will bear arms for this country. And people who are born in this country like my own kids haven't had to do that. When you have to do that you take this thing really seriously you know like the Constitution and the bill of rights and you know all like you take it really seriously, and I think that's why because the book is certainly it's about immigration, but it's also about like my. My struggle for democracy and being seen as a journalist taken seriously to be that's all a part of democracy and it just becomes I mean I was living with a green card I was I was definitely understanding my role as a participant. But when you raise that right hand, it's at a whole

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