MEChA de Yale is a student organization that seeks to promote Chicano unity and empowerment through education and political action. We hope this blog will foster solidarity within our group and allow us to make connections with our alumni.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Reflections on a plane ride to Mexico...
There is a
long line at the baggage drop off. I am silently angry that I didn’t leave
earlier. I start to mess with my hair because I am nervous, tired, and
disgustingly hot. I try to fumblingly hold on to my bags and fill out papers
for my entry to Mexico. In the mist of being nervous and nauseous, I notice two
little boys. I find them really adorable with their cowboy hats and paisa look. I soon see that they’re at
the verge of tears. Maybe, they are as frustrated with the long lines and
having to wake up early as I am.
alter, I see the same two children crying, as we are to board the plane—they
are alone. For some reason, I want to hug them, ask them what is wrong, and
tell them everything will be fine. I want to cry and I don’t know why; I start
to create stories about these boys. Immigration stories of torn families come
to my mind because unfortunately they are too familiar. It finally hits me, I
am transferring all the feelings of the recent deportations in my life to these
boys remind me of two boys I know who were ripped away from their home due to
the deportation of their mother. Their mother was deported for a minor traffic
violation and unpaid parking tickets. As a consequence, the two boys had to fly
alone to a country that they didn’t know to be reunited with her. I begin to
wonder how did they fill out this paperwork and if they were confused. They do
not speak Spanish that well. What will be of their education? I start to think
of all of the educational and economic opportunities that they will miss out on
even though they are US citizens.
importantly, the woman who was deported was my friend. She is a single mother
who worked incessantly so her kids could have a better life in the United
States. She motivated me to attend a university like Yale. She used to pick me
up from school and take me to college counseling appointments, community
college, performances, and any place that helped me enrich my education. I
remember crying a couple of times in her car when I felt frustrated or
stressed. She always encouraged me to pursue higher education and pacified me.
For last five years of my life, I have probably spent more time with her than
with some of my family members. It finally hits me that I don’t know when or if
I’ll ever see her again. I suddenly find myself crying quietly in the back of
an airplane heading to Mexico. I feel like a child again crying in her car
again. However, this time she is not there to make it better. I don’t think any
immigration statistics or politician can rationalize what I am feeling. This is
the sad truth of immigration.