Debra Jean Lancaster


As Interviewed by Abigail Sanders, March 15, 2018
"That was his largest struggle, and just living in the fear everyday of being caught and having to go back, to being deported."
Debra Jean Lancaster

Introductory Profile: About Debra Jean Lancaster

Debra Jean Lancaster is a mother, my grandmother, and the most hard-working and supportive person I know. She is a business owner in Wilmington, North Carolina and works alongside her husband, who is also my grandpa, in the construction business. She was born in a small town in North Carolina called Fremont, and she is the mother of three kids, one of which is my mom. She was never really involved with immigration problems until her niece married an immigrant from Mexico, named Payo Carillo. He came to America illegally and my grandparents became his sponsor so he could become a green-card hold in the US. My grandparents filled out lots of paperwork to prove that they were citizens, that they were economically stable, and many other things to be able to become his sponsor and to help him become a green-card holder. Currently, Payo Carillo is a green-card holder working to become a citizen in the US.

Together, we spoke about the difficulties of becoming a green-card holder and a citizen in the US, and the struggle that immigrants went through in the process. We also spoke about the requirements of becoming a citizen, and the process that my grandma went through to be able to become this sponsor. She has always had an interest in helping other people, and it did not surprise me when she did this for him.