HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT WHAT IMMIGRANTS LEAVE BEHIND WHEN THEY GO IN SEARCH OF A BETTER LIFE IN THE UNITED STATES?
WRITING ABOUT THIS MAY BE SIMILAR TO TALKING ABOUT POLITICS AND RELIGION, BUT LAST NIGHT MY HEART STRINGS WERE PULLED AND IT MADE ME THINK ABOUT IMMIGRATION TO THE U.S. – IS IT WORTH IT?
My husband and I occasionally have over one of his hispanic workers, Chuy, for dinner after they pull long hours together. We sincerely like Chuy, we bring him into our home, feed him, drink with him, share laughs, he plays with our son, and he teaches us Spanish; he calls us his family. And honestly, when he points to us and says “tu familia” it my heart smile. Everyone needs to feel welcomed and loved no matter what ethnicity you are or whether you are here legally or illegally.
What it comes down to is that Chuy is a fantastic, selfless human being who left Acapulco in search of a way to support his family. But what he found instead was a lonely life that consists only of work. He works all day, everyday, in return for a room the size of our bathroom in a trailer park. He as no car, no way of getting around on his own, no money because he sends it all home for his son to go to the best schools, no chance to meet new friends because he is always with the group he works with, no wife because she left him for another man, and no chance to ever return to Acapulco. To me, it seems he is more of a prisoner is the “land of freedom” than an actual free being.
Last night I asked him about his story because I only knew bits and pieces, and through our spanglish conversation the only thing I learned was sadness. He showed me pictures of his son who just graduated 6th grade from one of the best schools in Acapulco. Chuy works overtime for him to attend school there. He sacrificed having a life with his son, really having a life in general, so his son could have the best things in life. To me, that is the ultimate sacrifice. He told me that he doesn’t care at all that his wife left him or that he works all the time, but rather all he thinks about is his son. Everything he does day in and day out is for him.
With no money to be made in Acapulco, his son would not be able to have new clothes or even attend school if Chuy didn’t send home money each month. And while I admire Chuy so much for the sacrifices he has made, his situation really makes me feel that none of it is worth it. Yes, providing for his son is amazing, but if you cannot be there to share the life with him because you are thousands of miles away stuck in what I consider purgatory, what kind of life is it?
And this is not just the life of Chuy, but thousands of immigrants. I cannot say I support illegal or legal immigrants being here not because they take jobs from Americans but because I feel that life here is not much better than where they are coming from. The world is so incredibly vast, yet all they will know are job sites and trailers. That makes me scream inside…
DO YOU KNOW WHAT I DO BELIEVE IN FIRMLY…WITH ALL MY HEART?
IS THAT NO MATTER WHERE A PERSON IS FROM WE ARE ALL EQUAL.
I think why it hurts me so much to see the “living” situation Chuy has is because my husband is out there doing the exact same work as him, but just with a different title and is an American bumping his income up 10 fold.
Does that seem fair???
I have been to many of the Latin American countries, Nicaragua being the poorest of the poor, and what I saw where families living in make shift homes, living off the land, sometimes with no running water, but at least they were together. They didn’t have much, but they always had a smile on their faces and enjoyed what they had. That is how I believe life should be for everyone – family is the most important thing in this world and you need to stick together. I also find myself day dreaming of living in places like Acapulco or Nicaragua and driving roads like this on a daily basis rather than fighting 5 O’Clock traffic. I am in search of a simpler life, so it is hard for me to understand why people would choose to come here and complicate their lives.
SO IMMIGRATION TO THE U.S. – IS IT WORTH IT???