They Could Be Us

I just read about a Somali truck driver who sold his land to pay for a journey out of his hopeless conditions. He traveled through Kenya and Tanzania to Mozambique. There he paid a trafficker $1500 to get him on a ship to Sao Paulo. From Brazil he went to Columbia and then by boat to Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and ended in Guatemala where he is asking for asylum.
Most of us live sedentary lives. We might be born and die within the same state, certainly within the same country. Not so for the millions who seek jobs wherever they may be, for those who are displaced by wars and economic crises, for those in countries where there are no opportunities, no way for them to be able to earn what hey need for basic necessities. Conditions such as these have led to a whole class of people who live without a kind of security we take for granted. I know where I can get mail. They don’t.
We tend to look down on those people, they’re the subject of news reports on makeshift camps in Spain, they’re a group unwanted in Italy. In Germany and France they’re trying to pass laws against them. In the U.S the whole issue of illegal immigration has stirred up the passions of many. And yet they are people, struggling like anyone else to survive the best way they know how.
I can’t help think they could easily be us.