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.

            Two hours 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.

            These two 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.

            But most 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.


Roselyn Cruz
Saybrook College 2015 

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