Can you imagine searching and pushing and struggling to get to the entrance to Heaven, only to have Peter tell you that he was not allowed to aid the fact that you were in limbo, hungry, thirsty, scared, and homeless??
Upon hearing from a friend, a National Reservist who is due to be shipped to the American-Mexican border, about how he is preparing himself psychologically to deal with killing the Mexican people when they try to cross the border illegally, I was beside myself with questions. I wanted to answer for myself if Americans had indeed become so selfish, so untrusting in their God to provide as He always had, so uncaring that we allow the atrocities to continue at our feet, and even more abominable, we shoot those fleeing the monstrosities.
Armed with these and many more questions, I set out to find someone willing to share their story. Though I tried to put those four years of Spanish class from a very good school here in Birmingham, Alabama to use, I could not remember an adequate amount in order to communicate all I wanted. Fortunately, the willing party had been here in the U.S. almost nine years, having come alone to the U.S. illegally when he was 16, and had learned the English Language very well. We will call the twenty-five year old male “Roberto,” because he did not wish to give his true name.
Roberto was the only child born to a very good woman but absent and eventually estranged father somewhere on the outskirts of Tehuacán, in a rural, farming area. Tehuacán lies Southeast of Mexico City, and West of Vera Cruz. Roberto was not sure of the location, nor how to return home once that time came because there were no maps with which to teach anyone where there their area of the world was while he was growing up there. When we finally found satellite imagery of what appeared to be his old home region, he wept quietly for a moment.
Roberto came to the United States due to a family emergency. His Aunt is the mother of a child who was born with a severe defect. His condition is undiagnosed and treatment, if any, is primitive, at best. What doctors the child did see gave a poor outlook, saying he would not live through his childhood. The father of this child, Roberto’s Uncle, illegally made his way to America shortly after, in order to make enough money to send back to Mexico to his wife and lame child, since it became impossible after the child’s birth because he had to have around-the-clock care by his mother. She had no option but to quit working and care for him.
For a year or so, the money came to the lame child’s mother on a regular basis, then there was a change. The amount decreased at first, then the number of times per month the money was sent decreased. Finally, the money stopped altogether. Roberto told me the lame child’s father had met and married another woman, an illegal immigrant here in the United States. The man had decided he could not marry someone here and send money home, as well. Roberto speculated that perhaps the new wife was not aware of the wife and child he had in Mexico.
As a result of this inexcusable act of neglect from the father of the lame child, it was decided by Roberto’s family that he would go to America and make enough money to support himself and enough to send back to the aunt to support herself and his nephew. He was sixteen when he made the journey. He was afraid. But he would not let his aunt and nephew starve, and had he decided to not come to America, they would have, since he was the only male left who could make the arduous trip. And so began his life here, in America.
Roberta shared with me that when he first came to America, he was overwhelmed to see that very few people walked in order to get from one place to another, and most of the ones who walked did so because they simply chose to walk, owning a car but declining to drive it. He said that where he lived in Mexico, everyone walked and only a few were seen driving.
Roberto was also shocked to see that the streets and buildings were not made of pure gold. He was fairly shocked to find out that we have hungry people here in the United States, as well as homeless people. Roberto had been told, every since he was very young, that America was a paradise full of riches, where everyone was very happy because the President makes sure they all eat, all have cars, and all have gold. And the President is not assassinated for taking care of the American people, as a caring President in Mexico has been and would be in the future.
As we continued our conversation, Roberto confided quietly that there are unbelievable acts committed by La Policia and by the Mexican government, creating and nurturing the horrible conditions facing the Mexican people everyday. Knowing the truth about their country now makes me sick, as I already know the truth of our own.... For it seems that if they have nothing for the U.S. to gain by helping them, we will not only refuse to help them, but we will kill them for trying harder to obtain what is basically the same freedom of which we try desperately to influence the rest of the world.
Below are only a few of the problems he expressed to me. Other problems were shocking, moving, and horrendous, in nature and reason. As this editorial may be read by children or people like me who wish they sometimes could un-know some things, I limited the information to that which is not so ghastly. What is included is more than enough for American citizens to express concern over.... and to stop allowing the killing of the victims who suffer through it:
* Roberto could not own a decent vehicle had he been able to afford one, because the police would have taken it as their own.
* If he ever let it be known that he or his family had any money, the police would corner him and demand it; if he or his family did not give it to them, he would be returned to his family severely beaten and injured.
* La Policia remember those who they are able to control; those who decided to protest the treatment they were receiving were given no general protection in daily life.
* After working a 7pm - 10am shift with no break or rest period at only 15 years of age, and having worked this shift an entire week, his paycheck would be only 1/4 the amount of the cost of a new pair of shoes in Mexico. The price of basic necessities in Mexico outweighs the average earnings by a landslide. It's like moving to an area of the USA where the cost of living should set a minimum hourly wage at about $12 per hour, but only being allowed to earn $3 per hour.
Roberto calls his mother on a weekly basis to let her know how he is doing. He said that when he arrived in America, he told her everything about the country he saw, and also, “people in America are respectful of the police only because the police here are good. They are not afraid of the police like we are because the police are criminals.”
How can we expect people who believe the streets in America are made of gold to stop trying to come here, while they and their beloved families are living a daily hell?
These are humans . . . . They have a right to live life freely and happily. But we Americans are too afraid they may get something, some small penny-of-a-thing, and because of that ignorant, selfish fear, we allow our government to give the order to shoot anyone at the border who does not stop when told to.
They aren't terrorists. They are simply trying to get past the monsters and into the Promised Land.
They are not trying to take all of our jobs. It is not their fault that Americans have grown lazy and spoiled and will not work as hard as them . . . . It is not their fault that Americans will throw themselves down on the job, then file a lawsuit against their employers . . . . It is not their fault that America has, in all senses of the words, become “Land of the Discriminate.
One thing is for certain: I am happy it will not be me standing before God one day, trying to answer the question He poses, Why did you shoot the Mexicans, and having to answer They were trying to get into Paradise, Lord
If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. - George Orwell, 1945
It is not the fact of liberty but the way in which liberty is exercised that ultimately determines whether liberty itself survives. - Dorothy Thompson (1894-1961)
I would rather belong to a poor nation that was free than to a rich nation that had ceased to be in love with liberty. - Woodrow Wilson
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable rights; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness ... - Declaration of Independence (as originally written by Thomas Jefferson, 1776.)