Oral history interview, Veronica Lamas, 2013 (video and transcript)
Boulder County Latino History Project, Maria Rogers Oral History Program, and Carnegie Branch Library for Local History, Boulder Public Library. Click on the above link to access complete bibliographic information.
Veronica was born in 1991 in Oregon. Her parents, who had come to this country in 1984 from Mexico, worked as agricultural laborers, moving between Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, and Texas to find employment. She describes marriage patterns and lack of work opportunities in Mexico for her parents. When she was a young child, while her family was living with a grandmother in Denver, her parents were arrested (evidently as illegal immigrants) and sent to jail in Oregon. Her two older siblings, aged 10 and 11, were sent by plane to foster care in Oregon, forced to walk through the airports wearing handcuffs and leg shackles. For 3 years she and her younger brother lived with their grandmother, dependent upon charity for food, clothing, and school supplies. She describes the harmful impact on her older siblings of their experiences and the humiliation and bullying that she faced due to poverty. Her mother and older siblings then returned to Colorado. When she was allowed to visit her father in jail before he was deported, she told him she wanted to be a lawyer so she could have helped him. Her father has not been able to return to the US, making it very difficult for her mother to support the family here. While at Montbello High School in Denver, Veronica decided to go to the University of Colorado at Boulder, against the advice of her teachers, who thought a junior college was all she could handle. She did come to CU, struggling her first year because of inadequate preparation, especially in writing. She persevered, eventually graduating with Honors, having majored in Ethnic Studies, where she received good support from the faculty. She wrote her Honors thesis on the problems faced by undocumented students in attaining a higher education. She plans to go to Law School, to become an immigration lawyer. She thinks that being a Latina will not be a disadvantage, as she is bilingual and people will relate more easily to her.
Boulder; Denver; Oregon; Mexico
Oral history, Veronica Lamas, born 1991
People Shown or Mentioned:
Location of Original:
Maria Rogers Oral History Program at Carnegie Branch Library for Local History, Boulder Public Library