$150 to USA: A Mexican by birth, a Nebraskan by chance, a U.S. citizen by choice

Oscar Rios Pohirieth recounts his immigrant journey from Mexico to Lincoln, Nebraska. Oscar arrived in the United States with only $150 in his pocket.

In 1991, violence and political turmoil in Mexico pushed Oscar Rios Pohirieth to come to the United States at the age of 18. With only $150, his parents’ savings, in his pocket, Oscar embarked on a journey filled with surprises like seeing snow for the first time, automatic doors at a Target store, and the fear of settling in a country where nothing looked or sounded familiar.

A Nebraskan by chance, Oscar planned to land in Ohio where he had a friend but ran out of money in Lincoln, Nebraska where he resides since then, Oscar is today a naturalized American citizen.

After almost thirty years in the United States, Oscar does not struggle or push for acceptance anymore. Instead, he has found purpose in what he does as a Bilingual Liaison for the Lincoln Public Schools and active member of his community.

This is the immigrant story of Oscar Rios Pohirieth, a Mexican by birth, a Nebraskan by chance and a naturalized American citizen by choice.

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November 8, 2020

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