Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mis amigos nuevos

I've been hanging out with one of the best kept secrets around: the immigrant families of Angier, North Carolina.

Of course it's no secret Angier is home to many immigrant and migrant worker families. The secret, however, is that they matter and that they contribute to grace more than any other sub-culture I've come in contact with.

Immigrants and migrant familes easily become invisible to those of an outside culture. They blend in as "just another Mexican" and as part of the Southeast's skyrocketing Hispanic population.

Someone needs to speak for these personas, people, and tell their story. Someone needs to be their representative against the unspoken, cyclical forces that imprison them in poverty and poor health.

I don't know the details of the life of any one student, but I've gethered some general information about most of the students. They have siblings they love and fight with, friends they miss in a far-away land, and parents who work too much for too little money.

Sound familiar?

It's the story of so many Americans from every color in the rainbow and every generation since the American Revolution. The only difference is that for most of us, red tape, cultural hurdles, and ignorance didn't prevent us from learning how to read, getting a job, or having our kids vaccinated.

These children are happy to have a summer free of teachers and homework. They love to play in the water and watch movies with their friends. They like hugs and the little boys blush when the college girls smile at them.

What will happen if we ignore an entire generation of children because of paperwork and owed taxes? Hopefully we won't have to find out.

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