by Pa Rock
I have used this forum to sound off on the subject of immigration several times in the past. Last November I applauded students from a Tucson high school for marching en masse from their high school to downtown Tucson in support of a classmate who was being deported, along with his family, to Mexico. It felt good knowing that young people were concentrating on things of more relevance than sports, cars, and clothing labels.
Later that month I wrote about Jesus, a young man from Mexico who was walking across the Sonoran Desert on Thanksgiving Day trying to outflank the Border Patrol. His plans took a sudden detour when he came upon a nine-year-old American boy who had been in a wreck and was roaming across the desert trying to find help for his mother who was trapped in their van. Jesus tried to rescue the mother, but she died of her injuries. That night he built a fire and kept the boy safe. In the morning he found the Border Patrol and turned his ward over to them. Jesus was promptly deported for his trouble.
This past June I wrote about the hard working Hispanics who keep the wretched "Valley of the Sun" (Phoenix and its environs) operational. If it is a dirty, sweaty, out-in-the-sun, thankless task that needs to be tackled, our Hispanic friends, documented and undocumented alike, are the ones who are out there getting it done. They are easy to demonize, but this area couldn't function without them.
And in July I recounted the tale of a high school Spanish teacher who had been arrested and charged with littering for placing gallon jugs of water out in the desert along trails often used by "illegals" as they try to enter the United States on foot. Ironically, as this young man set out his life-saving water jugs, he had been picking up litter along the way!
So, yeah, I am one of those anti-borders lefties who believe we have an obligation to help all of our neighbors, not just the ones with papers or those who had the good sense to be born on the correct side of an imaginary or man-made line.
I have also been just the teeniest bit critical of organized religion in The Ramble, noting that some mighty mean people often label themselves as "good Christians," and pointing out that some churches are more focused on amassing wealth and power than they are serving the needs of the poor and the oppressed.
With my anger toward America's know-nothing (and proud of it!) racists coupled with my general disgust toward the uselessness of organized religion, I suddenly found myself broadsided by a story out of California where a church had taken a brave and unpopular stand to help an undocumented worker stay in this country so that she could remain near her young, American citizen children.
Her name is Liliana and for the past year or so has been given sanctuary by the United Church of Christ of Simi Valley, California. The Church is offering sanctuary and hospitality to Liliana and her infant son while her case is being dealt with by the Courts. Without the sanctuary, she would have been deported and separated from her husband and other two children who are able to remain in the United States legally.
Her case is representative of hardships and horrors that U.S. immigration policy forces on families. Liliana can return to the absolute desolation and poverty of the Mexican state of Michoacan and take her children with her where they, too, can live in absolute poverty in one of Mexico's poorest regions, or she can leave her children in Los Estados Unidos where they will have a chance of a decent life. It really isn't a choice. The only choice that Liliana has is to try everything in her power to remain in the United States with her children.
But then there are those "good Christians" protesting outside of the Simi Valley Church of Christ week after week - old, white, and intent on seeing that the law is enforced. What a shame they aren't focused on enforcing the Golden Rule instead of our inhumane immigration policy!
Our spite wall separating the U.S. and Mexico is coming along nicely. It's an ugly wall, as ugly as the wall that Israel is erecting to keep the Palestenians in poverty and subjugation. It's as ugly as the wall that the Russian's built to divide Berlin and cripple a nation. But more than that, it's as ugly as the souls of those who are so insistent on its construction.
When Jesus does return to Earth, my money says that he will do so wearing rags and walking across the Sonaran Desert. Of course he may have already tried that last Thanksgiving and wound up being deported!