I think this is a powerful quote from poet and artist Nayyrihah Waheed completely validates my immigrant experience. We often speak about the contributions of immigrants to the U.S. but not enough is said about how we actually get treated once we have sacrificed everything to be here. It almost makes the sacrifices not worth it. I personally don’t think it is a fair exchange, but others who have fled persecution in their home countries, and found sanctuary here, feel differently.
What does this evoke for you?
P.S. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend reading salt, milk and honey and anything else that Nayyrihah Waheed has put out in the world for us to heal.
There will always be immigrants. A human can work the same job in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas and make six times as much money on the north side of the border. That’s six times as much food in a baby’s mouth, six times as often that a family can run hot water and possibly the opportunity to invest. Some say immigrants, especially guest workers, become fourth class citizens. But they are often sub-castes in their own countries, invisible to the oh-so-keen eye of the developed world. Some say it robs developing countries of their skills and talent. But more people bring home skills and know-how than leave permanently in the “brain drain.” Lastly, some say it promotes dissolution of families. Love, however, is a little tougher with empty stomachs and untreated infections.
Or family need no longer mean a nuclear and extended unit sharing the same geographical location. In this world of globalizing communications, from Vonage to facebook to twitter, ‘family’ also means exchanging a few words with someone 3000 miles away and feeling connected through conversation, not necessarily building beer bellies.
Whole article is at the University Wire.