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Barrio Logan woman shares immigration story

Photo caption:
There are an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living and working in the United States according to the latest studies. As Rebecca Tolin found out from one woman, the search for better opportunities keeps them coming.

Adrianna Jasso cherishes playing with her 4-year-old daughter Victoria. Like all parents, the Barrio Logan woman wants the best life for her child. That same desire drove her own parents to pack up the family and leave their impoverished Mexican village more than a decade ago. They risked their lives in hopes of a creating a better one.

Adriana Jasso: "It was definitely very difficult, emotionally, psychologically, and physically challenging. It was very difficult to understand what was happening. Because after we left the border area, it was pretty dark and pretty scary."

Jasso's family made it across the border illegally. That was before "Operation Gatekeeper," when the border patrol built fences and beefed up patrols in 1993. Today, Jasso is a legal resident. But she says the journey is grueling for other family members.

Jasso: "Now it's days. Now people walk through the desert for days. Now people risk their lives in the mountains for weeks."

Jasso says the militarization of the San Diego border hasn't stopped the flow of immigration. But it has pushed illegal crossers farther east. Their determination is rooted in the harsh economic realities of life in Mexico.

Jasso: "There is no power in my opinion that will stop a mother or a father from the attempt or a hope of a better life, of existence. The possibility of survival of their children is more powerful than any fence, than any operation, because that's human. That's a human right."

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