Intern blog: Abraham, a Deported Undocumented Immigrant

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I’m sure everybody has heard about Donald Trump’s racist remarks by now.  Here’s one from businessinsider.com that pretty much summarizes up his views on the Mexican community:

“The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.”

(read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trumps-epic-statement-on-mexico-2015-7#ixzz3glWr7FaI)

It’s really frightening and alarming that Donald Trump is leading the polls for the Republican Presidential Candidate of 2016 right now- to think that there are that many people out there who wants somebody as close-minded as Trump to be leading a global superpower country home to over 318 million people…it’s scary.  I guess there many people as close-minded as the bigoted Donald Trump.

I’m not going to spend this blog bashing Donald Trump; I’m just going to tell a short story of one of my service trips I took to Tijuana last November, in 2014.  I hope this puts the immigration issue at the US/Mexico border into perspective, regardless of which side you are on:

Through Loyola Marymount University, last fall, I accompanied a small group of members from my on-campus community service organization (The Crimson Circle) and a sister service organization (Belles).  It was a short one-night service trip for the weekend down to Tijuana, Mexico, collaborating with Build a Miracle, a non-profit based in San Diego building homes for needy families in Mexico.  The first day, we spent helping building and working on homes in an impoverished community within the suburbs of the city.  They had nearly nothing, but the children and parents had the biggest smiles and the warmest personas of any community I had ever met in my life.  In the US, we find it so easy to complain about the smallest things- about how we get parking tickets, how service at restaurants are too slow, etc.  These families struggle to stay dry under their deteriorated roofs, and find meals to last the day.  We had made a lot of progress on the 199th house Build a Miracle had constructed.  We left with big smiles, changed perspectives, and new connections to the people who were happy with so little in Tijuana.

But the next part of my story is more relevant to the ignorant comments Trump made.  That night, we stayed at a shelter for Mexicans who were recently deported out of the US.  They were all going through the most difficult, shocking times of their life, to say the least.  One man, named Abraham, who was still visibly in shock and sadness about his situation, told us his story.

Just three weeks prior to him sitting on a chair and speaking to us, Abraham had been deported.  He had crossed the border by himself, all alone when he was just 14.  Why?  To escape the corruption, the gangs, the violence, and the poverty he found himself trapped with in his situation, and to pursue the American dream.  He had unfathomable amounts of ambition and determination in his heart.  Long story short, he worked himself to the bone, and slowly as time progressed, he was rewarded with his sheer effort.  He ended up owning his very own construction company, with 18 employees working for him.  His success in his career found him well-deserved stability to be able to support his family, including his two children; a 7-year old daughter and a 5-year old son.

Then, in the middle of a seemingly normal day, while his children were at school, he heard a knock at his front door.  He opened it, and it was the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.   Within 2 hours, he was thrown from his home into Mexico- he spoke perfect English, was a very successful, accomplished, competent, intelligence, hard-working, well-deserving man with nobody to go to, and nowhere to go.  It was impossible to imagine what he was feeling or going through, especially with the fact that he didn’t know the next time he would be able to see his own two children.

This is just one deportation story of many.  Is Abraham a rapist?  A drug dealer?  Is he even a “criminal”?  Not even close.  He is a father, a businessman, a hardworking individual that adds beautiful color, diversity, and opportunity to the canvas of US society.  The US shouldn’t want a man who generalizes minorities as harshly and ignorantly as Donald Trump.  Please.

~ Nathan

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