Hail The Caravan

As an immigrant I know what it’s like to leave all you know for the unknown. We had visas, we weren’t penniless, we flew to the US and regardless I felt fear.  When you emigrate everything familiar is gone and you don’t know how it will be replaced, nor do you know what will happen next. I heard and read about the caravan from Central America and I  can’t help thinking about those courageous people who are willing to walk  a couple of thousand  miles or more in search of some safety, in search for some opportunities out of assured poverty and violence, in search of  better lives for their families. They banded together to avoid the criminals who prey on migrants, the kidnappers, the thieves, the smugglers, they are walking because they cannot pay a smuggler what is often upwards of $9000. They are determined, they are willing, they are brave and still they are called criminals by far too many, and their right to an asylum is likely to be denied even before it is asked. We need to stop thinking of migrants as criminals, of those in the US as undocumented as criminals. Seeking safer conditions away from violence and a better life doesn’t make one a criminal. The US was founded on such a principle by people fleeing conditions they could no longer abide. The early Americans of settlements such as Jamestown were not much different than those in the caravans. Closing borders is not a lasting answer, certainly cutting off foreign aid is not. Anti-violence programs have been tried and shown success, yet they are ignored. What we must do before any answer can truly be found is make sure the harmful and erroneous rhetoric is rebutted if not stopped. The caravan members walk, alone or with their families; they must tire; they must know fear at the uncertainties ahead for them, frustrations at the obstacles they encounter; they must  experience difficulties at finding food or sanitary facilities. Still they march and press onward. They deserve our esteem, our respect. They reveal a positive side of human nature, while those who cannot see their struggle, their reason for walking, those whose compassion is absent perhaps show us the opposite.

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4 thoughts on “Hail The Caravan”

  1. I remember when you first came here. I was curious and in awe of someone who had such a different background. You were a friend – and now look at what you have become. How you have found your voice. How you speak out on such important issues. We have both grown in wisdom — and it is a gift to read your . postings.

    1. Thank you Susan for your lovely comment but also for being someone whose warmth and open heart made such a difference to me and to my sister, all those years ago.

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