Thursday, June 3, 2010

Enrique's Journey" - Me trying to understand illegal immigration

Recently in a Facebook status I asked for someone to enlighten me about illegal immigration and why some seem to think it is O.K. My nephew and sister in law told me to read the above book and it would help me understand. I have read the book and this post is to help flesh out my thoughts and feelings about the issue, and the final conclusion I have come to believe.

First of all let me say that my heart just breaks over the poverty and corruption in this world. Reading this book was very hard because I could see and feel the abject poverty that would make someone decide to do something like this. I feel empathy for the migrants that make this journey, and I wish so badly that their governments cared for them as they should (more on that later).

After reading the first 25 pages here is what I saw:

  • Father's abandoning their families
  • Government's not helping their people (maybe from corruption or maybe because of the country being poor, I don't know)
  • Mother's making a desperate decision, how be it wrong (as it states in the book Enrique would have rather dug through the dump and still have his mother, then what she could give him by leaving) to leave their children.
  • The mothers are seeing false advertising about the USA. The pictures they have are of New York, Las Vegas and Disney. Now there's a clear picture of the US isn't it. Once they get here (and that journey is unreal) they realize that "all that glitters is not gold". They have been told a lie, and leave all that is precious in search of that lie.
  • Kids just want their MOM's. No matter what country they are from.
  • The government cannot and will not be able to help everyone. This goes for Latin America's government and ours. That is a pipe dream. There is not enough money in the world that can solve the world's issues. What needs to happen is we need to practice what the Bible teaches about helping the poor, widows and children. (James 1:27). We are all called (as Christians) to help others. To put others before ourselves. To remember the poor (Paul writes about this in Galatians).
That was all from the first 25 pages! So now the book is finished and I have much to process. After Enrique's mother left, he was shuttled from place to place. His father "left" him with his grandmother and started another family. One of the things that just hits me so hard is the fracturing of the family. It is not only happening here in the US but all over the world. Parents (in this case the fathers) are abandoning their God given rolls and responsibilities and it begins the process of destruction that can never be repaired. Enrique's mother has been gone for 10 years before he starts his journey. 10 years of promises to return, for visit, for Christmas, etc.... 10 years of desire and questions in a boys mind of why his mother abandoned him. And this book clearly states that most if not all children left behind feel abandoned. I have so many dog ears in this book where there are things I desire to quote, but I'm afraid there's to many, but I will quote one here. This quote is from a portion of the book that discusses what happens after the children are brought to America: "Inside Murillo's office, children usually fire the first salvo: "I know you don't love me. That's why you left me there." Some mother's to avoid traumatic farewells, told their children they were going out to the market, or to see their children's teachers, and instead leave for the United States." These relationships cannot be repaired (unless of course God is given control). The book states that the children begin to look elsewhere for love and belonging. The boys go to gangs, and the girls longing for unconditional love get pregnant young.

This post is getting to be long and I haven't even begun to go over Enrique's journey, so I guess I will do as many post as it takes to process this material and conclude my thoughts. I hope that these posts stir in you a desire to not only read the book, but consider what you can do to not just understand the situation, but to possibly do what you can for any who are poor. They are all around us.

Stay tuned for part 2.......

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1 comment:

Mari said...

I'm glad you are splitting this one up. I think it would be too much to take in, in one reading. Very interesting so far!