Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Breaking the Rules (08/16/04)
TITLE: Who Holds The Future?
By sue moreland
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was eleven years old and his parents placed him inside a large packing
box and placed freshly made clothing on top of him. They told him he
must not make any noise. They showed him where the air holes were in
the box and told him to place his face near them. His parents were
putting each of his brothers and sisters in different boxes in just the same
way and when they were finished with the children they climbed in to
boxes of their own. They came in boxes with newly manufactured clothing
and were shipped by a freight truck. They had paid someone to help them
leave their country of Mexico and get into the United States. Their
oldest two children were already there and they had worked it out
together. This was to be the way the family could survive. This would be
Now he is 22 years old and he doesn’t feel very free. He has to deal
with the fact that half his life has been lived as a lie. He feels
trapped. His brothers obtained false social security cards for the whole
family but none of them have birth certificates. He can get a job
with the card but not an education. He can’t talk too much about where he
is from, in case he would give away too much information.
He grew up in the United States but he can’t really claim all the
rights of living here. If the wrong people find out that he is not here
legally he can be thrown in jail and then deported and be thrown in jail
again in Mexico. It was not his choice to come, but he must suffer the
consequences of his parent’s decision to break the law.
He has lived in the US long enough to want the parts he is missing.
He’d like a college education. He is tired of feeling like he is dumb.
He hates the silly meaningless jobs he manages to get. He wants to
feel some pride about himself. He wants to be able to set some goals and
carry them out. He tries to read but finds reading in English is
even more difficult then it was to learn to speak it. So he can only read
the simplest words.
He left his family and moved to another state. He thinks he will be
better off on his own. He has to figure everything out for himself. It
is the only way that he feels he will survive. Making new friends is
hard and he has to learn who can be trusted with the truth and who he’d
better not share it with.
But the bigger question for him is what to do about the truth. He
needs to purge himself from the lies. He wants to be the kind of person he
feels has a right to live in the US. He wants to contribute something.
He doesn’t want to be a criminal, but he knows that is what he is.
He can’t go back to Mexico. There is nothing for him there. Even if
he did go back he would know nothing of how to live there because he
grew up in the US. He feels like he is caught in a web; a web of deceit.
He wonders is there and answer for him? Is this truly the land of the
free? And that stature, he has heard about that says something about
the tired and poor coming to America, What does that mean to him?
He has no answers, but many questions and the biggest one is what will
his future be?