Stories of our community: Latina workers

National Immigrant Heritage Month celebrates the contributions of immigrants to this country, and their deep economic and cultural impact. Today we bring you the story of Miriam, a single mom who sought a better life in the United States.

By Beatriz Paniego-Béjar, Affiliate Communications Specialist, UnidosUS

Miriam Paredo Roque is one of the 46.1 percent of Latinas who work as maids and housekeeping cleaners in the United States.

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The job is unpredictable and Miriam makes less than $10,000 per year. By the time we spoke, she hadn’t worked in two weeks, and not for lack of willingness.

Miriam arrived in the United States fifteen years ago from Veracruz, Mexico. She is a single mom with a 10-year-old son. Given her low yearly income, having access to the Child Tax Credit (CTC) has been a blessing for her: “Me ayudó para pagar la renta, biles, …”, she says (“It helped me to pay rent, bills, etc.”).

Because of the instability of her work, she missed out on earning wages for two weeks. However thanks to the CTC, she was able to save money for emergencies like the one she was going through when we talked, “He podido ahorrar lo más posible, para no estar al día a día,” she tells us (“I’ve been able to save as much as I can, to not live paycheck to paycheck.”).

Miriam always understood the importance of paying her taxes, and emphasized the value of contributing to a country that has provided opportunities and possibilities for a better future for her son and her. She is grateful to UnidosUS Affiliate Eastmont Community Center, who has always supported her and helped her to fill out her taxes.

According to New American Economy, Hispanic households earned more than $1 trillion in 2017, which allowed them to pay more than $252.2 billion in taxes. After taxes, Latinos still held more than $780.7 billion in spending power.

These are the stories of our community, immigrants coming to the United States escaping poverty, violence, looking for better opportunities, and in search of their own American Dream. During this National Immigrant Heritage Month we celebrate their journeys and their contributions. Join us: share your story with us here or via our social media channels at @WeAreUnidosUS across all platforms.

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