You see that picture up there? That beanie happens to be my favorite article of clothing. Pretty much anything made in Mexico has that stamp of approval somewhere on it. I was born in El Paso, TX, but I was made in Mexico. How is that possible you ask? My mother and my sperm donor were 15 years old when they conceived me in Ciudad, Juarez, Mexico. My mother is the youngest of five kids, she being the only one born in the United States, her and I coincidentally share the same birth place. My mom’s water broke while she was in Mexico, she crossed across the border to have me in El Paso, with that she insured I was an American citizen. After I was born, my mom and I came back to Ciudad Juarez where I spent my first couple of years. My first language was Spanish, to this day I speak to my grandparents and mom in Spanish. I was so close to being born on the wrong side of the border that it is scary. Luckily, I had a mom who recognized the advantages of being born in the United States.
I understand that there is Mexican blood running deep in my veins, there is no denying where my heritage stems from. That’s why when I woke up on Friday morning and started to see all of the reports of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) having full jurisdiction over Austin, my heart skipped a beat. I thought of my cousin, Bola. I thought of my friends who didn’t have any papers. I thought about my family. I can’t even put into words the thoughts running through my mind. At about 8:00 AM Friday I saw a video on Twitter that made me sick to my stomach. It was a video that took place on Rundberg and Lamar in front of the Whataburger, let me put it into context as to why this hit close to home. I grew up down the street from that intersection. The high school I graduated from was around the corner. My first job was at the HEB grocery store this arrest took place in. I watched this man on his hands and knees pleading to the officers. I didn’t see a criminal. I didn’t see a menace to society. I saw a hard-working man begging for the opportunity to go home to his family that night. I saw a family lose their bread-winner at that very moment.
This wasn’t the only video I saw, oh no. I saw more videos of Immigration agents on Congress and Stassney. That’s less than two miles from where I live. It was then that my best friend Tim, who happens to be white, texted my brother and I. Tim grew up with us in the trailer park and to this day I consider him my brother from another mother, so even though he’s white he understands our struggle as minorities. He starts by asking if we were alright and if everyone we knew was cool. The rest of the conversation is below.
I won’t lie to you, I teared up when I had to tell my brother to keep his social on him. Now, I’ve heard many of you say, “If you’re legal then you have nothing to worry about.” NO you dense morons, in my city ICE had check points set up. Meaning, if you were brown or “suspicious,” you were going to be pulled over and questioned. Correct me if I’m wrong, didn’t they do that during Vietnam? Rounding up people due to their race or religion. With mass deportations come concentration camps. Do we really need to get to that point before we get all the non-believers to accept that this is not only immorally wrong, but this is down right un-constitutional? Leave it to America, the land of immigrants, telling other immigrants that they aren’t welcome here.
Let me put something out here for everyone supporting this non-sense of mass deportation. This land is not your land. It is our land. At one point, someone in your family was an immigrant. Someone along your genetic heritage risked it all and came to America to make a better life for them and their family. This country was built on immigrant labor and forcibly immigrated slaves. Save your sermon on how we have rules now, shut your mouth.
I only wish that your ancestor could speak to you now. I wish that they got the opportunity to tell you how they fled bombs and wars caused by the U.S. How they were willing to work jobs no one in the U.S. were willing to work, all simply to send money across the border to provide for their families. I wish they could tell you that people like you motivated them more than anything to succeed.
To all my Latinos being affected by this just know we’re here for you. You can bend us but we will never break.
Viva Mexico putos!