Saturday, February 4, 2017

Four Minutes of Family

They get 4 minutes of family standing in the Rio Grande at the border. Go visit grand-ma because you got the freedom to go wherever you want to whenever you want to visit anyone you want to. It is called freedom and we shouldn’t take it for granted. Recently thousands of people gathered on either side of the Rio Grande River on our southern border. Undocumented immigrants living in America were for the first time being able to see their relatives from the Mexican side of the border. It was the chance of a lifetime with some seeing each other for the first time in   years. Could there really be a human side to the immigration problem at our southern border?
They met and stood in the muddy water of the river and hugged and kissed and surely added more water to the river with their tears. Tears of both sadness and joy. For most from both countries these people have only had photographs and memories. Some hardly even know each other but they know they are family even if they haven’t seen each other for a decade. Many illegal families are separated when some are caught at the border and sent back to Mexico while other family members make it to America and live a life with different names. Some are hugging family members for the first time. It was all made possible by an event called Hugs not Walls.
This was all made possible by Obama’s efforts to unite families when he put in place immigration protections. They can still be deported at any time because they do not have the proper documentation. This event was about reuniting and not deportation. Alisa Wellek   the Executive Director of the Immigrant Defense Project points out how difficult it is to legally enter the country. Some families have not seen each other for as much as 25 years. 6 thousand people participated in the event. The reunion of sorts was sanctioned and protected by the United Stated Customs Border Patrol despite the fact that most people there were undocumented people who emerged out of the shadows. The theme was that it was all about compassion and not papers. Does Donald possess any compassion?
Those on the American side wore blue tee shirts and had good waterproof boots. Those on the Mexican side wore white tee-shirts and wore trash bags on their feet held up with rubber bands on their legs for protection while in the river waters.  Families came from as far as Chicago for this reunion of sorts. The journey was worth it for just 4 minutes with each other touching their closest relatives standing in the muddy waters of the river. Fernando Garcia is the Executive Director for the Border Network for Human Rights who wished the families could have more time together. I think they should have been able to go a step further and be able to share a meal together on dry land at least.

No laws were broken at the event where both sides remained at their borders. The families waited and took numbers till they were able to rush into the water for a hug and kiss. Would you drive 11 hours to see someone for just 4 minutes? Hell yes if you still loved them or was human. They waited behind the fence. Donald doesn’t want a fence. Does he even value humanity? We need proper documentation not walls even if only 4 minutes of family was made possible. 

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