Tuesday, November 16, 2010

People With No Names - The Undocumented #38

If I had to title this I would say that it is "Papered People". I was having dinner at a friends recently when I realized that 3 of the 8 people at the dinner table were immigrants to this country. Fortunately, all 3 have "Papers" or citizenship...(although I doubt any of them carry them in the car with them). The woman in front was brought to the U.S. in elementary school from So. America when her mother married an American man.(She speaks perfect English,Portuguese and Spanish) The man in the middle was a recruited athlete from Eastern Europe who got a professional degree and remained in this country. He speaks Turkish and charming English. (He works "7/24" sometimes, and they are going to buy a "feeding station" (high chair) for their baby.) The young woman on the right is the most interesting. As a ten year old, in an orphanage in Mexico, she was brought to the attention of an incredibly persevering and kind American woman. This woman (in whose home I was eating dinner) promised this little girl that she would adopt her and get her out of the bare bones orphanage. (Apparently I was VERY wrong when I pictured it like the orphanage in the "Madeline" books!) It took 4 years to get her legally out of there. Her future mother visited her repeatedly, and then left her sobbing behind the orphanage fence as she continued to pursue the legal avenue for passage to the United States. The 10 yr. old was 14 when she got a mother. It has been difficult, but she did just graduate from high school and spoke at her graduation in her charming, not perfect, but quite good English, (VERY GOOD, considering she started total immersion at age 14!) My friend did it the 'legal' way...a lot of harm was done during those four years. I asked if she ever thought of just "sneaking her in"...she said (in the words of Sarah Palin), "You betcha!"

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