Posted on February 15, 2010 by felipe | Post a comment
from Albany, GA
I’m exhausted! I’ve been carrying a huge physical load. Everyday we have to wake up early in the morning and walk -even though we have been going to sleep at 12 AM almost everyday. However, the emotional pain of our people is so great that I am having a hard time digesting it all. A few days ago we met a fifth grader, Oscar, who told me about his dream of becoming a therapist and his views on our plight. He is a gifted child that was sadly forced to understand the complexities of his reality. What I impressed me the most was his willingness to speak up about his struggle. When asked to talk in front of a crowd in a press conference he stood resolute to deliver the most heart breaking plea to the president. He said, “Please give my parents a chance. It would be too painful to lose them.”
The question that remains unanswered is what motivates a child to become so versed on the parallels between his life and the life of his fellow African American friends. In his own words he said, “the immigrant problem is similar to what happened to African American in the past. They couldn’t vote, we can’t vote.” He explained many more points about the historical and current intersections between the African American and immigrant plight. This eleven year-old boy does not have any choice but to try to make sense of his reality. His older sister had been consistently called a “wetback” in school, his father is currently facing deportation and his mother cannot get a job other than decorating cakes. In his utmost effort to make sense of his suffering he found in history books a place that healed some of his wounds.
We got to Albany and we found several children that wanted to walk with us. They ranged from 8-12 years old. All of them were born in the US and yet had to live with the fear of losing their parents. One of the most important parts of a child’s life is their family. The constant threat of losing a parent has traumatized our children to the point that they don’t know how to live in such instability. What we do when the answer lies on the hands of congress people who have not walked with us all this way? What do we do to relay the message of these youth to greater audiences that continue to judge us as less than human because of our immigration status?
While walking, Oscar and his sister were making jokes and laughing the whole time, however, when we talked about the issue, it was as if we opened Pandora’s box. The children started sobbing! Their pain was so evident that I couldn’t do anything else other than cry as loud as they were. Our tears have been flowing down for so long and yet we keep being marginalized. In a country that claims to be a place that values children, we still see the constant discrimination against and exploitation of Latinos through an unfair system that is breaking our spirits and families. What happened to us? Where are we going as a nation? I hope that somehow their tears reach those in Congress that have chosen to take an apathetic approach to just and humane immigration reform. We just can’t afford to wait any longer. The clock keeps ticking…
Posted by: Meagan Patrick on Feb. 16, 2010, 6:12 a.m.Gaby & her little ducklings! So cute!
Posted by: Edith on Feb. 16, 2010, 3:53 p.m.I'm very proud of all of you for taking a stand for all the immigrants who have been hidden away and to scared to do anything. Rights for immigrants is something thats deserved for every one of them. This nation is supposed to be fair to every person. They don't deserve to be treated differently because we are all human. I learned much from all of you. The reason of why you are walking and your dreams. You told me about your lives and what all you have been through. I am very glad I got to meet all of you and walk with you. Thank you very much for doing this for everyone. Be very careful on the rest of your journey and I know something good will come out of this, we just all have to keep our hopes high and greatful. Keep faith in God.
Posted by: Mother Dreamer on Feb. 17, 2010, 12:37 p.m.My heart goes out for you. Thank you for doing this for us. I shall pray for you always.
Posted by: Teresita on Feb. 17, 2010, 3:27 p.m.keep your head up, don't let your faith drain away! I'm currently working on my husband's immigration status, believe me I know the hardship it brings to our lives. Am a citizen, but yet I live with fear!
Posted by: meghan on Feb. 17, 2010, 11:35 p.m.after reading your entries, i'm certain that while on this trip you are going to touch so many people's hearts. keep up the good work and keep sharing your stories of impact with those of us online.
Posted by: Jessica on Feb. 18, 2010, 6:52 p.m.I just now discovered your trek to Washington D.C. I have great aw and admiration for what you are doing. I loose tears and sleep at night trying to figure out what I could do to help get Immigration Reform passed. I feel small and helpless when it comes to fighting for this. I am in Salt Lake City and want to help. If there is anyone out there that has information on what I could do please comment with some information.
Posted by: Lauren Maxwell on Feb. 19, 2010, 9:41 p.m.You all inspire me to be of good courage. Keep fighting the good fight with Jesus as your strength. You're in my thoughts & prayers.
Posted by: Konstatinos on Feb. 21, 2010, 8:26 a.m.May prayers are with you, thank you for your efforts. I hope that this will be the year to end fears and nightmares about loosing loved ones and trying to find a way to stay in this beautifull and great country. I love America. I love me enjoying America. I wana stay. Please let me stay.
Posted by: Emma Lozano on Feb. 25, 2010, 9:08 p.m.May god bless and keep you safe as you walk for justice. I pray that you will inspire a nation who should have a long time ago fixed the broken laws that break up our families. Elvira Arellano took to sanctuary and resisted her deportation for more than a year before they deported her, later her son a U.S. born citizen left to be with her in Michuacan Mexico. They inspired a nation like you are now. Adelante and we in Chicago Familia Latina Unida, and National Familias Unidas support you and will be in DC on March 21st to tell the President and Congress Legalization Now or no re-election. Siempre Adelante Emma Lozano Pastora Lincoln United Methodist and Adalberto United Methodist Church