I sat at my reading table this morning calling students over for reading assessments. When one particular student sat down I realized that we were in for a longer conversation, and it wasn't going to begin with any kind of reading. "Miss T. the police came and took my dad away yesterday. He's not allowed to live here anymore. They're sending him back to Salvador." This student went on to tell me that he had been crying and how much he missed his dad. He only had the hope of visiting at the end of the school year. The one thing that seemed to make him smile was the promise from his dad that he would send them anything they needed and lots of gifts for Christmas. His mom packed up all his clothes in a box last night...my student drew him a picture of a race car or something along those lines and stuck it in the box as well.
I keep thinking about this situation. I keep thinking about the mom and how she just had a baby a few short weeks ago. She now has to move in with her brother in order to care for her children. She doesn't have the warmth of her husband at night. She has to stay here in the U.S. and care for her family without the husband she loves. I know all the politics about illegal immigration, the need for paperwork, but tonight I could care less. When you look at the faces of families who are trying to live a better life, of the children who are bright with hope for the future, how in the world can you forget that this country is about families working for a better future, for freedom and for hope? I heard stories of interrogations and searches at my reading table this morning. It seems like such a different life.
And tonight, my little student is going to bed in a land far, far away from his daddy. A daddy who was not even allowed to say goodbye. This is my first experience with such things but according to stories I heard today, it is not uncommon. Have we closed our doors? Has the high society club met their maximum occupancy? Or am I oblivious and ignorant to some kind of explanation here? I want to know why immigration is such a problem. I guess I have some research to do.