For many in America, the automobile represents freedom, fun, and adventure, the chance to travel wherever, whenever. Having a car provides autonomy and access to jobs, opportunity, and the open road —For some, cars are a source of pride, prosperity or envy. For others, a chance to be carefree, blaring the radio with the windows down, while driving nowhere in particular.  

This has never been the case for me.  

Growing up as a Mexican immigrant in Arizona, just getting in the car was a source of great uncertainty and angst for me and my family. I vividly remember being about 10 years old when we purchased our first car — a used, light-blue Buick. I was so proud. We were on our way. The world was opening up to me, my parents, and two siblings.

But that feeling of excitement quickly evaporated in less than two weeks when we were pulled over, allegedly for a broken taillight. As my father’s hands started to tremble, I knew something was wrong. 

Read the full article on the Detroit Free Pres here.