Three generations of a KC-area Mexican-American family share their perspectives on race, immigration and the American Dream.
“They’re just looking for the same chances to succeed as we have, but that one piece of paper that they’re missing – everyone focuses on that.” – Irene Caudillo
In December of 2014, the Your Fellow Americans team talked with a Mexican-American family in the Kansas City area about their thoughts on race, immigration, and the American Dream. We joined the family around the dinner table of Mac and Velia Salazar, a husband and wife who were both born in Kansas on February 28th, 1925. Irene, one of their nine children, is married to Ryan Caudillo, a third-generation Mexican-American who was also raised in the Kansas City metro area.
Together, Ryan & Irene have three children – Julia, Sophia, and Olivia – all of whom identify as Mexican-American, even though they don’t speak Spanish and don’t have firm roots to the Latino culture. While the children understand that Ryan & Irene focused on teaching them English in order to provide them the best opportunities possible, all three children wish that they had a stronger tie to their Mexican-American heritage.
In the video above, the family discusses issues of immigration, and motivations for their ancestors to have moved to America from Mexico.