In the renewed struggle around the immigration issues. I want to resurrect this story of a friend of mine and his view of things:
Dear Mr. ICE-man (Immigration and Customs Enforcement),
I heard you want to send us Mexicans back to Mexico where we came from. Why don’t you come on the journey with us? Don’t worry about your children they will stay here and be safe in a Foster home. Your 2-year old and your 10 months old are ok with complete strangers. Because that is what happens when you separate ‘illegal’ parents from their ‘legal’ children.
So, come on along.
We are now in Michoacán where you work all week long like an animal and only make 20-30 dollars a week.
Do you want to know why we came to America? Just close your eyes and listen to my story:
‘We left Mexico because we lived on a hill with no electricity, no power, no running water, no toilet and no law. If you want tortillas you grew corn, if you wanted salsa you grew chilies and tomatoes. We had cows, pigs and chickens to survive. Here you have to protect your crops and animas from the thieves, and you also have to protect your family.
I remember when I was in third grade, the whole family was sitting at the table when a truck showed up and six men jumped out with ski masked and screamed that they were going to kill us, take our land, belongings and women. The women and the children went to hide in the attic. Everyone old enough to shoot was given a gun and everyone younger was hiding down the corridor filling empty gun clips and sliding them down to the people shooting. I was old enough to do just that. That time my father and two of his brothers got shot… but we won the and bandits left us.’
That day my father decided that her had to find a better place for his family.
Open your eyes and realize it is much worse now than it was in the early 90th.
I am asking you: Why would you want to send us back to our certain death? We might never see our children again!
So, Mr. ICE man, remember you are on the journey with us. Would you want to stay were you ‘belong’? Or would you try to safe your family from all that?
Becoming an illegal alien, being singled out, treated like outsiders, not having the same right is not as bad as living in the fear that your family might not survive the violence there.
The next time you want to deport someone please put yourself in their shoes and think what you would have done.”
*** Experience of a good friend and community organizer, story adopted.
No matter where we stand on the immigration issue. Every parent would try to find a safer place for their children to grow up, to find a place where they had a chance.
PS Our immigration laws right now make it almost impossible to legally immigrate from Mexico and Central America.