San Diego Immigrant Janitor Returns to Home after Attending the State of the Union Address

. Rosa is active in her union, SEIU United Service Workers West.

Rosa was born on a small ranch in Oaxaca, Mexico where her parents farmed crops and raised animals to support their family. As a young girl, Rosa helped her parents planting chilies, beans and corn, but she dreamed of a better life. After arriving in the United States, Rosa found work as a janitor. A single mother, she worked tirelessly to give her two children, Diane and Dereck, opportunities that she never had.  Rosa fulfilled that goal and today, both Diane and Dereck are attending college in San Diego.  Recently, Rosa bought her first home. She also is taking English and vocational courses to further her pursuit of the American Dream.

As she reaps the reward of her hard work, Rosa knows that 12 million undocumented immigrants are denied the same reward:

I see my nieces and nephews who have been separated from their parents for 30 years. Despite their hard work, they are still not able to achieve a better life because our immigration system is broken.

In 2008, Rosa became a U.S. citizen and voted in her first election. She is committed to fighting for comprehensive immigration reform, believing it is a critical step towards helping other immigrants, including her own family members, earn a better future. 


I love the United States and all the opportunities it holds. I came here for a better life and I came here to stay.  I am proud to be living my dream of owning a home and putting both of my kids through college. However, it breaks my heart to see so many immigrant families continuing to wilt in the shadows when they could be blossoming like I did.