Before moving to the United States, Lili was a department head at the Technical University of Chihuaha, Mexico. She managed budgets and had eight employees who reported to her directly.
Now an undocumented immigrant, Lili, who asked that I use only her middle name, waits tables at a seafood restaurant near Harvard Square. She works overtime every week just to try to match her former salary, and sends much of the money back home to her aging mother and her nephew, whose father was murdered in Chihuahua.
“I’m just trying to survive and trying to work my best,” she told me recently before a shift at the restaurant where we work. “But it’s hard.”
Donald Trump began his presidential campaign with the promise to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. He has called Mexican immigrants like Lili criminals, drug-dealers and rapists.
And on Nov. 8, those views carried him to victory. As I watched the returns election night, I thought of my coworkers like Lili and what a Trump presidency might mean for them.