Alright WordPress brace yourself I’m about to get political. As if the title didn’t already give it away, I’m going to speak on behalf on Immigration, just  for a bit. As I was listening to Democracy Now Amy Goodman was interviewing Pulitzer-Prize winning Journalist, Sonia Nazario. Sonia was speaking about the article she had just written for the New York Times “The Refugees at our door,” which basically depict Obama’s decision to pay the Mexican government to keep people from reaching the U.S. border.

Now before I dive a bit more into her article and where we both stand on the issue of immigration I want to remind my readers that last year during my time with AmeriCorps  I served a humanitarian aid crisis of an influx of immigrant minors crossings the borders. The detention centers were filled past capacity with children, these facilities were not equip to cater to children. My team and myself were stationed at two different detention centers where we provided basic needs to children ranging from three to sixteen years old. During this time we formed relationships with these children, we learned there stories and there parents stories and at the end of the day all of those kids were running from something, to something they thought was better.

Back to Sonia, shes goes on to share a few different stories of the type of people that are knocking at our door, figuratively speaking of course… I don’t know why I felt the need to point that out either. Anyway, the story that comes to mind first is of a woman living with her three children and her brother in one of the most deadly areas in Honduras ruled by the 18th Street gang, a gang that, by the way, started here in Los Angeles. Her brother was abducted, and killed and then they abducted her 14-year-old son and after he refused to join their gang he was suffocated to death with a bag over his head and later found in a garbage bag. She then packed up her two small children and ran to the next town where the gang found her and threaten her life. It was then that she decided it was worth the risk to travel through Mexico to cross the bored to the states and join her grandmother and mother.She attempted to apply for a visa and was denied. Because of the crackdown on immigration she wasn’t able to ride the train like more refugees had done in the past; she was forced to cross through the city with her two children. It took her 20 days to walk 250 miles where the train would have been a few days. She encountered many hardships because of this, from riots to raids to rape, all along with her two small children.

Stop for moment, put yourself in her shoes. If I lived in the worst part of LA so bad that one day I came home and found out my brother had been robbed and killed, WHICH HAPPENS. Then after that I come home to find that my little sister Breanna, fourteen years old just like that little boy, had been suffocated and stuffed into a bag because she wouldn’t join their gang. If I then moved to Las Vegas trying to escape this gang and they find me there and threaten to kill my whole family. I then proceed to go to Mexico hoping to start over and recreate my life without threat or harm to me or my SMALL CHILDREN, and Mexico says no we won’t help go back home, THAT’S OKAY?

Syria, has taken in more than 4 million refugees. We get a few tens of thousands, and decide we cant deal so we are going to hand our problems back to Mexico, the country putting us in this position in the first place?! (Okay its not all Mexico fault I know, I’m just saying they are apart of the problem). I understand their have been cases where refugees have done more harm than good and for that reason we should have some screening process so we know who we are letting through our front doors. There are so many more refugees that are in need and we are in a position to help them. I agree with Sonia in calling them refugee’s as opposed to immigrants because immigrant has such a negative connotation associated with it and refugees are in fact a person who is being persecuted in their home country, and they are fleeing harm.

Lets not just close the border and lets not slam the door in peoples faces because they look guilty. Lets take time, lets use resources to do all we can to help these innocent people and sure lets make sure they are innocent FIRST. Because if it were us America, we’d be burning down bridges and making our way through already.

On Sonia’s website, EnriquesJourney.com, there’s a letter to send your congressional leader, saying that you want a fairer policy towards refugee children, in particular.

I can’t speak on behalf of every adult that wants to cross that border, but as for those that not considered the legal age to speak for themselves, well I speak on their behalf and all they’re asking for is a fair shot.

We cant choose our color, race, or place of birth. 


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