Friday, June 22, 2018

Listen to My Story

Today I am going to play a little game I like to call "what if". It is going to include me as a young mom (or even as a granny with young grandkids). And today I live in El Salvador. Or Guatemala. Or Honduras. I hope you will stick with me here. I am terrified of what is going on in my country. I live in a country where the murder rate is through the roof. And gang violence is unbelievable. And those gangs need more and more members every single day because they are killing off their own.



My children are scared and they are hungry. We are very, very poor. And there is no hope in my country. I have seen my friend's children die at the hands of these scary gangs. There is much talk of going to the United States. The United States will take us and take care of our kids. We will be able to find jobs picking fruits and vegetables. We will get to see our kids flourish. Like the American kids do. 

But it is a long, long walk. And it is dangerous. A tiny part of this journey that would take 30 minutes by car will take us more than 20 hours to walk.And we are traveling more than 1000 miles.  It will not be easy. There are smugglers. They will try to take my kids so they can use them to get into the United States. There will be hostile residents in Mexico that will beat us, shoot at us, or turn us into authorities. But I must take this chance. I am thinking about the sure death of my kids if I stay in my country. I have to get them to the border of the United States. (Isn't this what any mother would do?)

Along the trail to the United States we will find theft, rape, and murder. We will walk through dense jungles and open fields. There will be dirty water to drink. Maybe we will find some food. We may go days without. In our group we will watch people die from drinking the water. We will see other mother's raped so they can provide food for their children. 

It is hot! Very, very hot. And humid. My children will cry from hunger, thirst, and exhaustion. But we have to keep going. I know that when I get to the border of the United States I will have two choices. I will find the entrance that will listen to the horror stories of what is going on in my country. I will tell them the gang is looking for us because they want to kill my 10 year old son for stealing food from them. We cannot go back. They will help us. They will give us shelter. They will feed my children.

We arrive! And the United States will not let me in. They will not listen to my story. This isn't what I was promised. I have always heard the people of the United States are kind and caring. I have heard about the Statue of Liberty with the words: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."   But now they are telling me I cannot come in. I am desperate.

So I head down another road.I have two choices. I can send my children ahead of me alone. I can try to find them later. I can pray they will be taken care of. Or I can accompany them and pray for the best. I sneak across the border. But I am caught. I will be arrested. They tell me my kids will be taken away from me. They seem delighted in my misery. My kids stay with me while we wait in a line to be processed. I try to prepare them. They cry. I tell them I will find them. I tell them everything will be okay. I tell them they will get to eat. There will be clean water. They will not be gangs looking for them so they can kill them. They cling to me. I keep telling them to be brave. I tell them "this is the United States of America". 
The last thing I hear as I am taken away by the immigration authorities are the cries of my children.....

    "mama, mama, please don't go"


And this is me again:

If you have been watching TV at all this week you have heard these cries. It is heart wrenching. Yes, I want secure borders for my country. Yes, I want to help these families. Can't the two go hand in hand. Why does it have to be zero tolerance. Why are we treating these people, who only want a better life for their family, so horrible. What can we do to help? These kids are being used as political pawns for a border wall. I am ashamed today to be an American. 



26 comments:

  1. So today there is a front page story in the Detroit News about residents up in Little Traverse Bay area of MI suing because their resort neighborhood only allows Christians. Marry a Jew and you are not welcome anymore. Only 10% Catholics. Is this really America in 2018??? What the h--- is happening?

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    1. It is very, very sad to see what is going on this country right now!

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  2. And this is how the US becomes the modern Nazi state. People say I'm being alarmist. I think I'm being very calm considering the circumstances. I hope we keep yelling and howling until the government stops this horror. (Alas, not while the current administration--who's enjoying the misery--remains.)

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    1. I don't think you are being an alarmist. I am very afraid (and ashamed) for America.

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  3. I feel for them and their plight and I am earnestly praying (which a lot of people say prayer doesn't work but I am a firm believer that it does work) and that God is seeing all that is going on and is allowing it for whatever reason and why I do not know, but then I am not God and he is. Its a horrific decision to make to travel to this country and then wonder what your chances are getting in, getting caught, living here illegally always fearful wondering if you'll be caught, etc. I've been thinking of this a lot of this past week and I am reminded of the time of WW2 when Jewish people were trying to get into other countries because of what was going on in Germany and surrounding countries and how quotas were set up and only a few were allowed to emigrate to our country and other countries. I think of my dad, a Polish citizen (not Jewish) who was put into a German war camp and endured the atrocities of the war and how afterward he wanted to leave Poland but had to get a sponsor to guarantee he would have a job in the United States, place to stay, etc., and had to state he would become a citizen. I think of the kindness of one of his cousins who did take on the sponsorship of my dad and did get him a job, etc., here and how eventually my father did become a citizen after the waiting period, education, etc. I think of another relative also in Poland who had a family with several children who could not find a sponsor (the sponsor who took on my dad felt he could not sponsor an entire family). I think of the people over the years who have legally tried to enter our country and have gone about it the way within the law. I know it doesn't make me very popular with people and their opinion about it, but again I pray and I trust God with whatever the outcome. Immigration needs to be fixed; its been a problem for awhile. I don't have the answer but I think we can see how we can help by supporting organizations working to help those who want to immigrate here, etc.

    betty

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    1. I believe, too, that prayer works Betty. But then I have to question....why is God allowing this to happen? And where was he when all those Jews were killed in Germany?? What was that lesson? Thank you for sharing the information about your dad. I agree that immigration needs to be fixed. I want a nation with strong borders too. But now at the cost of the kids. The kids will be the future for this world. We need a softer and a kinder nation. I believe God wants us to pray for our leaders. But I do not believe Trump is a leader. A leader would not do this to kids!

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    2. Paula, I wish I had an answer to your question why God is allowing this and so many other things to happen, but that is why he is God and I am not. It sounds like such a pat answer, but He sees the bigger picture of all the events of the world and how they fit into his plan and purpose which is making his son, Jesus, known and people to come to have a relationship with him for all of eternity. Maybe this is a wake up call for America to get down on their knees and pray more and repent. I don't know. We (America) have certainly mocked Him in how we kill his babies and how we have re-defined marriage. I often wonder why God should bless America.....(but that is a different subject for a different day.)

      betty

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  4. There are no simple solutions, easy answers. Like Betty, I've no answers … but I do have prayers.

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    1. There are answers though! Besides prayer. Which prayer is a good thing. But we must vote this monster out of office. Sorry, that is just what I see him as. Anyone who can rip a child from their mother is nothing short of a monster. We care more about animals in this country than we do about innocent little children. Imagine the outcry is Trump was taking all newborn puppies away from their mothers in order to decrease the dog population! Can you imagine?

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  5. It's certainly an emotive subject and although I can understand why people try to gain entry to the USA (much as many refugees try to make it to the UK)there cannot just be an open door for anyone to walk through. Countries need to have immigration policies. That said they need to be reasonable and certainly should not separate families.

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    1. I totally agree. Countries do need to have immigration policies. But separating kids from their parents (and some of these kids will NEVER be returned) is not the right way to do it!

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  6. It is not the fault of these immigrants that congress has not addressed immigration law since, I believe, the sixties. Nor it it their fault many interpretations, or policies about the law have been put in place since then. And it certainly is not their fault the current president of this country is a misogynist, racist, rapist, and I am too upset for further descriptive nouns. I campaigned against this man; the day after he was elected I welcomed President Pussy grabber. I do not understand the evaporation of the moral fiber of this nation. It began before this president was elected.

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    1. You are right Joanne. It began a long time ago. But, THIS president is not afraid to show his face to America. And now we can see what evil looks like!

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  7. I think our President Trump is addressing the situation ...as no other president would. I did not have a problem with the children, their Mothers broke the law...and no one in jail or being held is allowed to keep their children with them...lots of Mom's in jail without their kids...lots of soldiers over seas without their children too. I was not moved by the news or the some of the fake photos out there.

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    1. He certainly is addressing it as no other president would. But that doesn't make it right! The law these mothers broke is a misdemeanor. NO ONE IN AMERICA GOES TO JAIL FOR A MISDEMEANOR. Can you imagine the uproar if a woman ran a stop sign and the child in the backseat is taken away and placed in juvenile detention until mom can sort it out in court. That is what this president is doing to these women. And the soldiers over seas are without their kids because that is the job THEY chose. And the majority of those kids were not put in jail but are at home with their other parent. That is not a good analogy. I was moved by the photos and by the recordings. But I respect your opinion. Even if I think you are wrong.

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  8. I blogged on this as well. Remember, no one knocking on our front door asking for safety is breaking the law. No one. This is a sad day.

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  9. I will be joining those that are praying for a solution to this horrific problem. With God in control nothing is impossible.

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  10. The thought of children being taken from their parents is appalling.

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  11. For me, the situation is sad on so many levels. First, of course, is the separation of children from their parents. The act of taking a child without permission is kidnappinng. The trauma done to all individuals as well as the change in the parent=child relationship is long-lasting and immeasuraable! Secondly, the reasons families are leaving their own countries in the first place are terrible crimes against humans and those don't seem to get addressed or resolved. Third, even our President's ancestry includes a grandfather who left his homeland to to come to America to seek a better life. He was avoiding conscription. No children involved, but still, Fred Trump left to avoid being forced to do something he didn't want to do. If the US has a problem with those seeking refuge by risking thier lives to cross the Rio Grande, maybe thise brave souls should be trannsported to 405 East 42nd Street, New York, NY, USA. Don't bother looking it up. It is the address of the United Nations Headquarters. Central American Countries all have delegates to the UN. But... you know what? Those seeking refuge won't want to make a public scene. They will want to find work and give their families what they can't give them in their homes of origin because no one there is helping to keep them safe.

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    1. It's only considered kidnapping if it isn't done by the President of the United States, I guess. And there are so many jobs these people are willing to fill. Thank you Gram for your input!

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  12. Thank you for personalizing this. Too many people get only the scary version of rapists and gangs coming to murder Americans. They can't grasp the concept that most of these are refugees and other countries would provide refugee camps and help them adjust and eventually fit into their country.
    The U.S. needs the laborers and these desperate immigrants aren't here to take your jobs. Your jobs have already been shipped overseas by companies who want to keep the profits and not share them with the American workers.
    It's a sad situation and there is a lot of hate being spewed out against these brown-skinned people. Who knew that so much racism was still lurking just below the surface in our country.
    We can't have open borders but zero tolerance is the wrong way to go.

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I love to hear what you might think. Leave me a comment. I guarantee though that I will delete your comment if you are just here to cause trouble. So tread lightly!