Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Oh, life can be so ironic sometimes. My sister (who played hooky from school today) and I were talking this morning and she said to me: "I made friends with a Mexican on the train the other day." (side bar: we are nowhere near racist) I started laughing and then responded "Me too!". She might post her story later, so I don't want to tell her story on her behalf. But I figured I'd share mine.

Because I can't drive to and from school, and because my friends are at best semi-dependable, I have to take the bus home from college on Friday mornings. Sometimes I run to catch it to make sure I'm at work on time. It took me a long time to swallow my pride and deal with having to take the bus. I mean for serious? If the government knew what they were doing to my self-esteem by making me ride this thing, they might pity me more! I know, I know. It's just a bus, and I shouldn't let that define me. It's just embarassing because you have to know where I'm coming from. I live in one of the richest counties in New Jersey. Majority of my friends have pretty, shiny, new vehicles. I'm taking the bus. And to boot, I'm the only white person on the bus. I'm really not trying to make this about race- but I know they're judging me because I've had people say it straight to my face before.

Regardless. Last week, I took the bus into the town center, where all the illegal immigrants go to find work. I'm not kidding. That's where the bus drops me off, and where I have to take another bus to my job. I was outside waiting for a good 15 minutes when my new friend said to me:
"It's cold."
Me: "Yes, very cold."
N.F: "You waiting for the bus?"
Me: "Yes. You?"
N.F: "Yes"
Me: "Where are you from?"
N.F: "Mexico. You?"
Me: "Canada. You legal?"
N.F: "No. You."
Me: "Nope."
And it went on and on until the bus came and we parted ways. We chatted about families, about my Daddy being in Canada, and how messed up the system is. If you had told me 5 years ago that I would be at a bus stop, in the "zone", talking to a Mexican, I would've laughed in your face and asked you "Do you know who I am?"

I suppose it's God's way of a small dose of humility. For me, and my family. You see being raised in the US, we were still legal. We were functional, contributing parts of this society and economy. I was basically raised to believe that illegal immigrants are not really worthy of being here, and overall a drain on society. Then I became something like one. And now I understand. Now I understand that while some of these people (the criminals, the gang members, those who only work here to send money back) don't deserve to be here, some of them are just here trying to get by. A lot of us have invested everything we have in the promise of the American dream, and believe me, immigrants these days are built American tough.

These last few weeks have been very difficult for myself and my family. Each day is it's own rollercoaster. But when I think about it, I know we stand a chance. Even if it's a fleeting chance in Hades, it's still ours to take. That being said, I'm going to start trying to raise more awareness for this cause. I think President Obama needs to factor immigrants into the economic equation. I think he needs to encourage them to come out of the shadows, pay taxes, and become American. I think we need more secure borders and better relationships with both Mexico and Canada. Illegal immigrants, and those who are out of status need an opportunity to make it here, because otherwise we're still not going anywhere. You can shun us, you can take away everything we have- it doesn't change a thing. The minute we leave this place is the minute we lose it all.



  1. I nominated you for an award! Check out my blog for more info :)

  2. I agree. and I came from your sisters blog!

  3. I thought that the beginning of your entry was funny(you talking to a Mexican) I am a Mexican,well born in the states but still consider myself Mexican (and I am not saying that you are racist or anything)but I had white friends from the States and Canada that thought that immigrants were a drain on society and I believe it to be true to a certain extent (but I don't want to get into details because this little box is not big enough for everything I have to say)I totally agree with you in the sense that immigrants should come out of the shadows and start contributing... Anyhow before I get sided tracked and forget what I came here to do,I want to thank you for following my blog and congratulate you for yours,great entry btw.

  4. thank you Emalee and Shania for stopping by. Shania, I'd love to talk more immigration with you- seeing as you're now living in what is my "old country" :) Either way, I think it's time we all band together- American, Canadian, Mexican whatever you may be to shed some light on this issue!

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