Today I crossed my fingers and hoped that something positive would come out of the Senate Debate over immigration. But when I crossed my fingers, I realized that it felt strange to make such motions, as if I hadn’t done that since I was a kid. Does the middle finger go over the pointer or is that switched around? I just don’t know. And does it really matter?
You see, I don’t think it’s all about luck…or wishing upon a star…or getting all your ducks in a row as if to collect friends and votes and end up smiling. Reforming a broken immigration system in the United States is an endeavor much too large to place false hope in the “luck of the draw”. Rather, true reform comes from an intrinsic understanding of placing strong value on human dignity.
As I watch the news reports of Senators voting today, I can’t help remember this February as I traced the steps that thousands of migrants make on the dangerous journey through Mexico with the unfaltering belief that they will get a better paying job in the United States. I remember, as if it were yesterday, the conversations and heart-bending stories of mothers leaving their children in countries like El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua in the hopes that they money they make in a distant land full of more opportunity than their own country, will help put food on the table for their family left behind. I wonder where the dignity is in that.
You see, to understand the Immigration Debate as it is now, one must understand the root causes of this mass exodus of people. It must be understood that a failing economy and governmental structures that support the rich leave little room for the poor. It must be understood that no one really wants to leave their family behind to get a job, but that is the decision that must be made to survive. It must be understood that such a dangerous journey through Mexico is also a product of our broken promise as a people of Faith to defend the poor at all costs.
So as I cross my fingers today with others in solidarity, I know that there are many in this world who just don’t get it quite yet and will vote the way the vote despite the fact that they don’t know the reality of WHY people are migrating in the first place. If anything good is to come of this debate…hopefully it’s a greater awareness based on education and heartfelt understanding of the strangers among us.