Edinburg woman says her mom was raped on journey to better life

Yrasema's mother, Ricarda Reyes

Yrasema Acosta doesn TMt like to see the images of undocumented immigrant children and families in overcrowded Border Patrol facilities.

The Edinburg mother of three says the protests at cities where they TMre bussed too or the calls for their deportation make her cry.

"They don't know their life story, she said. They don TMt know why their coming. Maybe they're running from something, they've been hurt or they just want a better life."

In the summer of 1968, Acosta's mother Ricarda Reyes nearly lost her life traveling alone through Mexico.

She wanted to escape poverty and start a new life in the United States.

My mother was an immigrant herself, Acosta said. She was trying to get her residency. She was trying to get all her legal papers."

Reyes was brutally beaten and raped near Monterrey in Mexico.

Acosta said her mother miraculously survived the attack and continued her journey north.

She eventually crossed illegally into the U.S. through the Rio Grande Valley border.

In March of 1969, nine months after the rape, Yrasema says she was born.

I was a product of that horrible experience for her," she said.

Acosta says her mother worked hard in the fields and in factories to provide for her family. There isn't a day that goes by when Acosta says she doesn't think about the decisions and sacrifices her mother made to try and provide a better life.

I think it was her faith, and she told me once that things happen for a reason, Acosta recalled. There's a reason I'm here. So something good out of something bad has to come out."

What is it that you're hearing or seeing today that is making you want to lift the veil on your story and come out so publicly?" Action 4 TMs Ryan Wolf asked.

"What I'm hearing is people being so judgmental on these immigrants," she responded. They come out right away and say, 'Send them back.' 'Deport them or get rid of them. Things like that really hurt me."

Acosta isn't calling for open borders rather compassion and understanding for the influx of immigrants who are now in the U.S. and made the dangerous trek as her mom once did.

"Treat them like human beings," she said.

Yrasema's mother died two years ago as a legal resident.

Acosta plans to volunteer at Catholic Charities in McAllen, an organization that TMs providing clothes, food and medical needs for undocumented immigrants.

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