Monday, June 8, 2009

What Would it Take?

I'm wondering what it would take to make me willing enter a Ford Excursion with a minimum of 21 other people. If the driver pulled out the back seat, charged me money, and then said "lay down there, I'm going to stack 2-3 more people on top of you and around you and cram this vehicle as full of desperate people as I can." Then, in the beginning of the summer, we started a long drive over the border between Mexico and Arizona, probably never stopping for fear of being caught. Maybe I was one of the first of many to enter that vehicle and my sister or brother or spouse was waiting to go as well. But I won't know if they got in or not because I jumped at the chance when they offered me a spot in that Ford. Or maybe my mom said, "go sweetheart, it will be OK, I'll find you if I don't make it this trip," as she held back the tears because she knew that she would never see me again.

What would it take?

How terrible would my life have to be?

How desperate would I have to be?

How great would I have to think America is?

What would I be willing to risk?

This article popped up on the Cox homepage this morning as I logged in. It's very brief, reports only the facts, and avoids any mention of what I consider the real issue of immigration: the human factor. Many people will read the article and wonder how long they will have to pay to support and treat the illegal immigrants that were hurt in the roll over accident. Some will pray for those who died. Some will volunteer for Sheriff Joe's posse and go patrol the border, thinking that the solution is to stop the vehicle from entering our country in the first place. This country, my country, the land of the free.

I know that there are many things to be considered when looking at immigration. I know that people have been entering our country, legally, for decades. I know there is a right and a wrong way to do something; a legal and an illegal way to make things happen. I'm just wondering: what would it take to make me risk my life to leave the place I grew up in for a land that is completely foreign to me, that I may or may not make it to?

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