1850.8 mile journey

Apple news use to be fun to read, I’d browse the science section, often read interesting stories about what’s going on in other countries. News that wouldn’t upset my heart condition too much. When I open my news app now, I don’t see much of those stories anymore. They are drowning in a sea of Trump media coverage and we are missing out in what’s going on in the world.
For instance I had to wade through the Trump top stories to read about the finding of a new continent “Zealandia”. An amazing story that just got covered up, pushed back and got unheard during these times of political turmoil. I even did a twitter search on in, barely finding anything trending the day the story broke out. 
I open my news app to disappointments now. I know I can simply not read the stories but I also want to know what’s coming. Like Trump’s revised Immigration rules. What I opened my app to recently was a heartbreaking story about Francisca Lino; a mother and wife. Her husband and five of her children are American citizens. Living in the US for 18 years, never committing a crime, checking in with immigration twice a year since 2005. One check in after Trump is president, well it’s simple…the rules had changed without warning. Even for the immigrants that play by the rules.
Immigration simply said to come back in July with a suitcase. No ifs, ands or buts. So is she the “bad hombre” Trump is looking for? Oh I’m sorry she must be working for a terrorist group right? Ripping that innocent family apart is going to keep me safe how?  
Immigrants are afraid of checking in now, for fear of being sent away and I don’t blame them. Families being broken apart and little kids afraid for their relatives. Without a chance, a chance to file paperwork, a chance to try is all they want. This is a very painful and tender subject to me. Another time and place I wouldn’t be here, I probably wouldn’t be alive if my mother hadn’t immigrated to the United States.
My mom entered the US during one of the easier times during the 80s but still took a huge risk. I remember her telling me it was scary, traveling such a long distance to a unfamiliar place, all the while she was far along in her pregnancy with me. I don’t think I ever really fathomed until now what a big feat it was or just how lucky we are to be together, or how lucky I am my mom is a strong determined woman. She gave birth to me here in the states, just in time so I could have a better life, so I could live. My mom had been pregnant before but lost her baby because medical care isn’t as advanced as it is here. The baby, her baby died because she was left unattended in stirrups as she gave birth. Something that would never happen here, something so simple right? If it wasn’t for her being in the states, I would have probably died too, I had to be hospitalized when I was born due to a thyroid problem. My mom remembers the caring nuns that looked after us. 
She never cheated the government out of money, like people think immigrants do. I remember the hospitals we went to were teaching hospitals or catholic hospitals that helped us based on charity. I remember playing with empty boxes, pots and pans but I was happy. She always worked, she earned her citizenship, she didn’t use marriage or the fact she gave birth to me as an avenue to get citizenship. My mom wanted to earn her citizenship on her own and to this day she still remembers everything she learned from those classes, ask your average citizen if they can even name half the facts an immigrant has to know for their citizen test. 
Now as an adult…I’m in my mid 30s and have advanced heart failure. I’m alive because of the medical care I can receive here, in fact we have the best heart hospital here. With the weak immune system I was born with I can say with certainty I would not have lived to see my 30s if I had grown up in my mom’s small village. I wouldn’t have met my husband, my brother and sister wouldn’t be here. Everything I have I owe to my mom making that long 1850.8 mile journey.
I just pray that other families get the chance my family did, to make a life for themselves in America. 

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