Heidy DeLaCruz The American dream

This podcast episode is a conversation between Ed Watters, the host of the Dead America Podcast, and Heidy DeLaCruz, a mother, published author, podcast host, and medical coding specialist. They discuss the American Dream, the importance of immigrants sharing their stories, the flaws in the immigration system, and Heidy’s poetry book about overcoming a toxic relationship.

Empowering Immigrant Voices: The American Dream Through the Eyes of Heidy DeLaCruz

The American Dream, a concept deeply ingrained in the fabric of our nation, has always held a special allure for those seeking a better future. But what does the American Dream truly mean? Why is it so important for us to understand and appreciate the experiences of immigrants in shaping this dream?

In a recent conversation with Heidy DeLaCruz, a mother, author, podcast host, and advocate, we gained unique insights into the realities of the American Dream from the perspective of immigrants. Heidy’s podcast, “The American Dream in the Eyes of Immigrants,” and her book, “Words from the Heart,” are powerful platforms for sharing stories, educating others, and challenging misconceptions surrounding immigration.

## The American Dream: Opportunities and Challenges

Heidy DeLaCruz eloquently highlights that immigrants typically appreciate the American Dream more than natives. They recognize our country’s countless opportunities and the potential for a better life. However, many fail to realize the immense struggle and sacrifice immigrants endure to seize these opportunities.

Immigrants, like Heidy’s parents who migrated from the Dominican Republic, face numerous challenges upon arrival. They leave behind their culture, language, and often, their families to start anew. Overcoming financial illiteracy and navigating complex systems become crucial hurdles. Heidy vividly shares her personal journey

Audio Episode

The American Dream from an Immigrant's Perspective: Heidy DeLaCruz Shares Her Story

The podcast features a compelling conversation with Heidy DeLaCruz about the American dream in the eyes of immigrants. Heidy is a mother, a published author, a podcast host, and a medical coding specialist. Her podcast focuses on sharing the experiences and narratives of immigrants, aiming to bring a more compassionate and empathetic understanding of immigration. Heidy also shares her journey as a child of immigrants from the Dominican Republic and talks about her book 'Words from the Heart', a collection of poems written during a dark period. Heidy emphasizes her belief in opportunities, the humanization of immigrants' stories, and the need for improved immigration policies.

00:00 Introduction and Overview

01:24 Meet the Guest: Heidy DeLaCruz

02:29 Understanding Immigration: A Personal Perspective

03:15 Changing the Narrative: Immigrants' Stories

03:55 The Immigrant Experience: Challenges and Triumphs

11:24 The Role of Immigrants in the Economy

17:35 Heidy's Personal Journey: From Darkness to Light

19:52 Call to Action: Empathy and Understanding

21:03 Conclusion and Farewell

Heidy DeLaCruz

[00:00:00] Heidy DeLaCruz: I mean, I saw a meme one time that said no one appreciates the American dream more than a foreigner, right? Because

[00:00:07] Ed Watters: That's right.

[00:00:08] Heidy DeLaCruz: that's what they come for, the American dream. But it's like, what is the American dream? And a lot of them just say it's the opportunities, it's the opportunities that this country provides its people. Because we do have a lot of opportunities and opportunities here in the, in the States that there isn't elsewhere, right?

[00:00:30] Ed Watters: To overcome you must educate. Educate not only yourself, but educate anyone seeking to learn. We are all Dead America, we can all learn something. To learn, we must challenge what we already understand. The way we do that is through conversation. Sometimes we have conversations with others, however, some of the best conversations happen with ourself. Reach out and challenge yourself; let's dive in and learn something right now.

[00:01:24] Today we are with Heidy DeLaCruz. She is a mother, a published author, also a podcast host. Her podcast is The American Dream in the Eyes of Immigrants. And the book is Words from the Heart. Heidy, could you please introduce yourself? Let people know just a little more about you, please.

[00:01:47] Heidy DeLaCruz: Yes, well, you nailed it down. I'm a believer, I'm a mother, poet, wife, um, podcast host. And I also work as a medical coding specialist throughout, uh, in the day. And yeah, so just, you know, juggling a lot with the kids and the family and everything. But honestly, I love everything that I do and the vision and mission behind all of it. And it's what keeps me going. So, yeah.

[00:02:17] Ed Watters: Well, I, I love your podcast. What you're doing is meaningful, we need more people out there speaking up about just the topics that we deal with day to day. You speak about immigration.

[00:02:32] Heidy DeLaCruz: Yeah.

[00:02:32] Ed Watters: this is a hot topic in our world,

[00:02:34] Heidy DeLaCruz: Yeah.

[00:02:34] Ed Watters: especially today. It has been forever.

[00:02:37] Heidy DeLaCruz: Yeah.

[00:02:38] Ed Watters: And I really think a lot of people that argue that argument are not educated in the topic much at all, they just go with the rhetoric.

[00:02:49] Heidy DeLaCruz: Yeah.

[00:02:50] Ed Watters: There is immigration and it's good immigration for our country. Our country has always been built on immigrants

[00:02:58] Heidy DeLaCruz: Yeah.

[00:02:58] Ed Watters: and that's what we are. And people tend to lack the understanding of that. So, what, what is your message truly about and why is it so important for you to deliver it?

[00:03:15] Heidy DeLaCruz: So the message is, or the mission behind it is to change the narrative of immigration to a more compassionate and empathetic way. And I feel that the best way of doing that is to have immigrants share their story. Because, you know, it's not what you see in the media, it's not what you hear in the articles or anything like that.

[00:03:37] If you really sit down and listen to the journey that immigrants go through to come to the United States, the reason why they come, you really humanize it, right? You really look, it's like, okay, these are humans. These are, these are hardships that they go through. These are, you know, it's hard. It's hard coming to a new country, leaving your culture, leaving your language, your food, your family, to start over from scratch.

[00:04:03] And so that's really why I started the podcast. Um, my background with immigration is my parents migrated from Dominican Republic. I was born here, but since for, but being a child of immigrants, I saw firsthand the struggles that immigrants go through with navigating, you know, the system in the United States. So like, for example, you know, financial literacy is like so hard. Like no one, like we're not even taught that in school, you know? So obviously

[00:04:31] Ed Watters: Yes.

[00:04:32] Heidy DeLaCruz: immigrants don't know. So like now that I'm about to be thirty, now is when I'm trying to like, you know, be financial literate and like now I'm teaching my parents, you know? Like, Hey, we can do this. We can do that, you know? When it's supposed to be the other way around, it's supposed to be my parents teaching me. But,

[00:04:47] Ed Watters: Yes.

[00:04:47] Heidy DeLaCruz: you know, they came when they were adults. So, you know, they didn't really know, they were just trying to find jobs, to provide and that's it, right? So it's, it's a topic that's really close to my heart just because, you know, my family are all immigrants.

[00:05:02] And if you listen to their stories, they, it's pretty much all the same. We're more, more the same than what we are different. They came to, for a better life, better opportunity, um, you know, just to leave the hardship that they had in their, their country, wherever it is that they come from, you know? And, and yeah, so that's why it's really close to heart. I know it is a very hot topic. Um, I don't get into the politics of it all, I just give them the platform to share their story. Um, also listening to their stories, you can learn a lot about the process of

[00:05:43] Ed Watters: Yes.

[00:05:43] Heidy DeLaCruz: immigration. Um, what really happens, how it really goes down, um, because a lot of them do actually come legally. And in the, in the process of them being here, somehow something happens and some of them get like, don't get status, right? Some of them lose their status. And it's like, Why? Because the system is flawed, right? I do agree that we do need a better process for immigration, right? Um, I do, I do agree with that. But you, like you said, like this nation was built up on immigrants. And I actually want to do an episode where I do provide like the history of immigration. To like, so you can see like why certain laws were put in place. Like what events led that particular law to be put in place because it's actually very fascinating, um, why certain policies were brought up. So, so, yeah, that's my mission and my vision behind it and why I'm doing it.

[00:06:47] Ed Watters: Well, it's a big chore.

[00:06:50] Heidy DeLaCruz: Yeah.

[00:06:50] Ed Watters: You know, Heidy, if, if you think about it, the abuse with the visa system and all of that, that's really where a lot of these bad stories come from. And that's what the media focuses on,

[00:07:07] Heidy DeLaCruz: Yeah.

[00:07:07] Ed Watters: it's, it's really not the truth. The aspiration and the dreams of an immigrant, they're visionaries.

[00:07:15] Heidy DeLaCruz: Yes.

[00:07:15] Ed Watters: Their, their hearts desire a bettering, we all do that. What's, what's wrong with that? There's nothing wrong with that.

[00:07:26] Heidy DeLaCruz: Yeah.

[00:07:26] Ed Watters: So bringing stories out so people recognize these visions that these immigrants actually have. Not only for themselves, but for their families, their offspring, you know, it's something that everybody should aspire to better themselves it's

[00:07:46] Heidy DeLaCruz: Yeah.

[00:07:46] Ed Watters: a great thing. One thing that I've learned from, oh. One thing that I've learned from speaking with immigrants is they know that America is precious. And this American dream that we talk about, but don't quite really understand, this is important for people to get. And this is what I'm hoping, you stick around and keep podcasting, and enlightening people, and bringing these topics up.

[00:08:23] Heidy DeLaCruz: Yeah.

[00:08:23] Ed Watters: Educate people.

[00:08:25] Heidy DeLaCruz: Yeah, I mean, I saw a meme one time that said no one appreciates the American dream more than a foreigner, right? Because

[00:08:34] Ed Watters: That's right.

[00:08:35] Heidy DeLaCruz: that's what they come for, the American dream. But it's like, what is the American dream? And a lot of them just say it's the opportunities, it's the opportunities that this country provides its people. Because we do have a lot of opportunities and opportunities here in the, in the States that there isn't elsewhere, right? And,

[00:08:55] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:08:55] Heidy DeLaCruz: and because of how the media also portrays the United States, it's like, who wouldn't want to come here, right? But then they come and they realize that you got to work hard to get what you want, like hard. And that's the thing, like a lot of people have this misconception that everything is handed to immigrants. And it's like, No, these people are starting from like, even less than scratch.

[00:09:19] Like they're starting with absolutely nothing. You know, they, they come here, find a job, find a place to stay, learn the language. Like doing all this without even knowing the language sometimes. And sometimes they even come as kids,

[00:09:35] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:09:35] Heidy DeLaCruz: which they don't even have the choice, like they, they don't have the choice to, to come here or not. It's like their parents made the choice. But their parents are making a sacrifice to give the kids the better life. So,

[00:09:46] Ed Watters: That's right.

[00:09:46] Heidy DeLaCruz: you know, the kids have to deal with the bullying because they don't know the language or because of their skin color. They have to deal with racist comments, or like, you know, hardship and things like that. And it's, [00:10:00] and it's very, sometimes it's very sad to hear the stories because it's like, instead of the kids helping the other kids, they're bullying them and making fun of them. And it's like, oh, we got to do better, we, we got to do better.

[00:10:12] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:10:13] Heidy DeLaCruz: Yeah.

[00:10:13] Ed Watters: I agree. You know, and the sad thing is Americans complain so much about, they come here and take the jobs. But if you look at this in reality, we need those immigrant farm workers, those immigrants that actually take up the slack because of the lazy attitude of Americans. And, and it's true, you know, we, we have been spoiled to the point where we expect things and that's dangerous.

[00:10:48] Heidy DeLaCruz: Yes.

[00:10:49] Ed Watters: And, and when, when the upper class of America is pushing this nonsense, it can get dangerous. So it's, it's very important that we advocate. And the best people to advocate are the people that live it firsthand, know about what the system is actually doing.

[00:11:13] Heidy DeLaCruz: Yeah.

[00:11:13] Ed Watters: Because if, if we bring light to those deficiencies, we can actually change it. So it's better for everybody.

[00:11:22] Heidy DeLaCruz: Exactly. Yeah. You know, the whole them stealing the jobs is funny to me because the majority of the people who have been on my podcast are business owners, they have their own business. So what does that do? They're providing jobs to the economy.

[00:11:39] Ed Watters: Yes.

[00:11:39] Heidy DeLaCruz: They're, they're small business owners, which is the backbone of our economy, right? So it's like, they're not stealing our jobs. They're, they're creating their own businesses, they're creating jobs for other people. And, and I, and I find that so beautiful because I provide them, you know, the opportunity to promote their business, like what they're doing.

[00:11:57] Um, for example, one of the guests, she was bullied, um, when she was, uh, in elementary school when she first came. And because of the bullying that she received, she is now a parent bully educator. So she educates parents on the signs of their child is being bullied, um, how to prevent it. And then she also provides workshops to schools like how to

[00:12:24] Ed Watters: Awesome.

[00:12:24] Heidy DeLaCruz: figure out if, if a child is being bullied. You know, it's, and it was because of her own experience that now she's helping others, um, you know, to prevent this. And we know how, how bullying is, is a big issue in schools. So that's just one example of, of what our immigrant is making such a big difference in, in the United States and what she does.

[00:12:48] Ed Watters: Yeah, I like it. And what, what do you have plans for your podcast? Do you have many more episodes to come, or are you, are you planning on moving forward with something else? What, what is the plan for your media distribution?

[00:13:08] Heidy DeLaCruz: So I started this year, so it's a baby podcast. But the feedback that I've gotten has been so amazing. Just everyone thanking me for providing the medium for them to share their story and humanizing it. So I have one episode with an immigration attorney who he shared facts. Like, okay, what, what does the process look like? How long does it take? So definitely educational is, um, also another goal of mine. Um, where I want this to go,

[00:13:39] honestly, I'm just such a big believer in God just setting a plan for my life. So right now I'm just sharing this immigration stories. And if it's something bigger comes along the way, great. If it's just this, I'm more than content with this. Cause I just want to provide education, I just want to provide these stories because these stories matter, and just advocacy.

[00:14:01] Um, So I do also try to get involved as much as I can with advocacy and, um, volunteering right now as a translator, um, for a nonprofit organization, um, that helps migrants, like, get settled. So they help with financial assistance, with, like, rent assistance. But one of the requirements is that they have to have a job.

[00:14:22] So, like, it's not just like, anybody, you know, like, Oh, I just got here, like, I need rental assistance. It's like, No, you have to,... you have to set a plan, you have to have a budget, make sure, you know, make sure they're, they're working. Um, so I'm helping with that, with translation, um, with that organization. And just listening to those stories of like, you know, coming through Mexico, through the, the hardship that they go through, right?

[00:14:45] Um, one of them was even kidnapped by the cartel and they were hold as ransom. And they were trying to gain communication with their family members here in the United States to ask for like $30, 000. And she was like begging like, I don't have family in the United States. I'm leaving hardship from my country,

[00:15:01] like I just want a better life. Like I, you know, I don't have anything. So listening to those stories, just very, very hard, like heartbreaking, you know, like the, the life threatening decision that they're making for a better life. And like, just the trauma, you know, like listening to her story, like she started breaking down and crying because it was like, man, like, she literally got kidnapped by the cartel just trying to make a better, to get to a better life in America.

[00:15:27] And it's just, again, it's just so heartbreaking. So just whatever God wants to do with this, I'm all for it. Um, again, I just want to, you know, share these stories. Uh, try to change the narrative a little bit, provide education and just let people know that, like, you know, just educate. Like, yes, there's a lot of flaw in the system, but let's try to come up with a solution. Because that's the thing right now, I feel like there's no solution being made for the

[00:15:56] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:15:56] Heidy DeLaCruz: flawed system, right? We keep saying like, Oh, but they're doing this or they're doing that. But it's like, okay, so where do we come together to come with a solution? Like, yes, we know that there's flaws, so what is your solution, you know? For

[00:16:10] Ed Watters: That's right.

[00:16:10] Heidy DeLaCruz: example, right now, the DACA recipients, right? They're in the air, they're, they're living literally by the decisions of the, of the court. And they're not making a, a solution, they're not. They're just going based on, on the decision of the court. And it's like, who can live like that? Like, these are people's lives who just, they don't know if they're going to be okay living in this country. And these were people who came as children, meaning that their parents made the decision to bring them. It was out of their, out of their hands. They don't know their home country. Like they don't know, like the country that they were born in, all they know is the United States. So it's like, how are we going to send them out to a country where

[00:16:55] Ed Watters: Yeah.

[00:16:55] Heidy DeLaCruz: they don't know? And it's like, we, we need to come up with a solution for the flaws that are in the system.

[00:17:04] Ed Watters: Yeah. You know, we've created the problem. So it's up to us to actually

[00:17:09] Heidy DeLaCruz: Yeah.

[00:17:10] Ed Watters: untangle these entanglements that we've come across. It's, it sure is a nightmare, that's for sure. But I really am pleased to see somebody out there logically speaking, bringing stories forward so people can better understand each other. And that's what

[00:17:30] Heidy DeLaCruz: Yes.

[00:17:30] Ed Watters: it truly is about.

[00:17:32] Heidy DeLaCruz: Yeah.

[00:17:33] Ed Watters: So,

[00:17:33] Heidy DeLaCruz: Yes.

[00:17:35] Ed Watters: talk to us about your writing, your book.

[00:17:39] Heidy DeLaCruz: My book, it is Words from the Heart. It is a poetry book and these poems I wrote during a very dark period of my life. I was, um, going, I was in a toxic relationship and it was when I was like going through it and then getting out of it. Pretty much, um, finding myself again, rebuilding myself, um, after being in that devastating relationship. Um, I write about mental health, so my depression and anxiety. I write about, um, dealing with my mom being bipolar, she got diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I also just write about just overcoming all of that.

[00:18:17] And then, so the book ends with like the rainbow. So it's like, you know, the, the finding my now husband. So being in a healthy relationship and just overcoming all that trauma. So that's what those poems are about. And I put them together in a book because I want to help other women, right? Who may be in toxic relationships or maybe provide the courage for them to leave the toxic relationship and just know that I've been there too, you know? And, um, yeah, just to provide that encouragement.

[00:18:49] So I self published it in July. I had a book lunch party with my friends and family, which was, uh, such an amazing time and so much support and love. And so I've been going on different podcasts, just sharing my story, um, sharing the book, and, and then, yeah, just sharing the lessons that I've learned from going through all of that.

[00:19:14] Ed Watters: Well, that helps us grow every time we learn a new lesson from making that mistake

[00:19:20] Heidy DeLaCruz: Yeah.

[00:19:20] Ed Watters: and getting over it. You know, life's filled with it and, you know, being able to overcome it and have that mental, emotional intelligence to deal with it, that's important.

[00:19:36] Heidy DeLaCruz: Oh, yeah.

[00:19:37] Ed Watters: And really, our world is full of need there.

[00:19:42] Heidy DeLaCruz: Oh, yeah.

[00:19:42] Ed Watters: So our, our time's coming to a close, do you have a call to action for people?

[00:19:52] Heidy DeLaCruz: Call to action? Well, just listen to the podcast, honestly, to learn more of these immigration, um, [00:20:00] stories. To understand more, um, and just, just humanize, just listen to these stories, to just listen to the hardship and just, um, why, you know, these, these stories are important. And, and yeah, that would be my only call to action, just trying to empathize and be more compassionate towards these people because, um, we've been through a lot. And just remember, like, like you mentioned earlier, this, uh, country, this great country was built on immigration. And, you know, these are humans, these are people made in the image of God just like you and me.

[00:20:36] Ed Watters: Amen. That's the most important thing to remember. So what's the best way that people can connect with you? Where can they find you?

[00:20:46] Heidy DeLaCruz: I like to hang out on Instagram and it's my name, um, Heidy, H, E, I, D, Y, period, DeLaCruz, so D, E, L, A, C, R, U, Z 13.

[00:21:01] Ed Watters: Heidy, you're amazing. You're providing a great service and it takes a long time to really get noticed. But I think you're doing fabulous and I see good things coming out of it. Thank you for being part of my show, the Dead America Podcast.

[00:21:21] Heidy DeLaCruz: Thank you so much for having me.

[00:21:26] Ed Watters: Thank you for joining us today. If you found this podcast enlightening, entertaining, educational in any way, please share, like, subscribe, and join us right back here next week for another great episode of Dead America Podcast. I'm Ed Watters, your host, enjoy your afternoon wherever you may be.