La Mariposa en la Pared

The everyday experiences of latino immigrants through the eyes of an outsider. Las vidas típicas de unos inmigrantes latinos a través de los ojos de una forastera.

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Location: Upstate NY, United States

"To me it’s always interesting when you get accepted somewhere you don’t really belong. It’s interesting when people open up and let you in their world." - Gilles Mingasson

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"I didn't stop."

He walked away, the voices of the police officers calling out to his back. "Come here and show me your identification."

Was he afraid that he would be pursued, knocked to the pavement, handcuffed and put into the van with the others? Did the skin on his back prickle at the thought of a bullet that could be sent to stop him in his tracks?

If so, those fears were not as strong as the ones that made Enrique keep walking.

According to la chota, they were responding to complaints that a group of day laborers, who had gathered at that spot daily for the last 3 years without incident, were blocking the sidewalk and "congregating."

For that, these men who were seeking work - not buying and selling drugs, not begging, not fighting - some of whom are the primary breadwinners for their families that are so lucky to have mothers always in the home to care for the children, these men were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.

Is it also disorderly conduct when a group of white guys in suits block the sidewalk waiting for a bus or a train, or waiting to cross at the crosswalk on their way to their jobs? If more than one of them at a time pause on the sidewalk to take a sip from their Starbucks cups or talk on their cellphones or punch important information about stock trades into their blackberries, and block my way as I try to pass, is that also disorderly conduct? Sound absurd?

No more absurd than a group of day laborers waiting to go to work being charged with disorderly conduct. Then again, groups of brown men congregating on a sidewalk do not strike terror into my soul. They remind me of every single wave of immigrants to ever come to New York seeking a better life. Giving more than they take. Willing to work hard at whatever job that needs to be done.


Blogger Vicente Duque said...

Janna :

Thanks for beautiful and literary stories. I am always moved. And I enjoy them, even if there is a background of sadness at human poverty and condition.

I am not a bigot, fanatic, or extremist, of allowing everybody to enter or stay in the USA. But I want the more Humane Possible Treatment of this Problem.

I agree that a "general amnesty to undocumented immigrants" won't occur.

I understand the need to police the borders and stop the Entrance of Illegals.

I understand the need to evict lots of undesirable people, delinquency and others, carefully considered.

Not only I do understand but I approve.

What is absurd and dangerous for everybody ( The U.S., Mexico, Latin America, etc .. ) is the ideas in many right wing blogs of expulsing 12 million people in a short period of time, or even in four years.

The U. S. has many intelligent people and they showed up in the last November 4. .... But it worries me a lot that the Haters take command.

Fortunately, Mr Obama and Ms Clinton are also rational and cerebral.

Vicente Duque

1/16/2009 6:54 PM  

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