Us After America is a blog I’ve recently discovered that provides those of us who fortunately have a more sheltered life an insightful look into the difficulties caused by the confusing, contradictory, abusive immigration “system” in the USA.
Take a moment to think about things like this:
Salvador didn’t have a male role model around growing up. He just knew that all the men in his family worked hard and had very little to show for it. Salvador worked at his grandmother’s convenience store, worked in a factory, went to school and fought in the streets for money.
As he got older he realized that simple things, Nike’s or a muffler for the car, were just forever out of reach, no matter how many jobs he had. His first wife left him, with their children, for another man, someone with more money, someone who could provide a better life.
Without becoming a gangster, without murdering anyone, coming to America was the only way to better himself financially. It’s ironic that after all that good behavior, what made him a criminal was coming to America for a better life so he wouldn’t have to be a criminal.
Expats who have encountered abusive Border Patrol and ICE agents (which are the subject of regular diatribes by expats traveling through Houston, for one particular sore spot) might be able to relate to this encounter at the El Paso / Juarez bridge:
Then the movie gets to that one line that changes everything.
“Well maybe I’ll just take your passport away. How would you like that?”
“I would love to see you try. Have you ever read the inside of a passport? It’s a federal offense to take away an American citizen’s passport. You should really know this shit, right? It’s not even in Spanish so hopefully you could even read it. In fact, why don’t you keep holding my passport because I want to speak with your supervisor right now and report you before I call an attorney and then the media. I’m sure that KFOX would love to get your side of the story about how you think you’re so fucking special that international law doesn’t even apply to you.”
Living in a quiet, peaceful, fairly violent crime-free place like Merida, it’s easy for me to forget what it’s like for people in other parts of Mexico. Or for dual-citizenship residents who have family on both sides of the US-Mexico border. Or for those who struggle with the arcane system of immigration which millions of both Mexican and US citizens must cope with inside the USA.
I read this blog and I think, “What is there that I would, or wouldn’t, do for love, for family, to secure a positive future for my loved ones?”
Read about Cheryl Arredondo and Salvador and realize how lucky we are in Yucatan. And take a moment to relate to the inhumanity that is “The System” in the USA.