I interviewed Andrea Fernandez with her friend Jasmarie Hernandez before she went on stage at the Unlock the Future rally in Houston sponsored by the National Organization for Women (NOW) on immigration policy. The two got up early that Sunday to drive the 180-mile trek from Austin to Houston for the rally. I asked her why she came this far for a rally. She said she had a story to tell and that I would just have to wait until she gave her speech as one of the speakers on the stage.
Most of the time America's immigration inhumanity is an abstract concept. It flares up every so often. It gets a few days of news coverage. And then it lays apparently dormant though well active like metastasizing cancer. That is what made Andrea's story so powerful. It not only occurred, but it is also ongoing, both the physical reality and the pain.
Andrea is a gifted speaker and in her prose, I could visualize and empathize with her pain and her father's pain who would be deported at the time she was starting college.
Andrea Fernandez's immigration story.
Andreas' dad and the family came to the United States for refuge after being persecuted by cartels on a continuous basis. Humans don't force displace for no reason. It behooves us to make exceptions where one's life or humanity is on the scale. Unfortunately, our immigration policies mimic the same evil reflected in our White House and it is palpable.
On a side note, it would do those who are antagonists to immigrants to note two very important realities.
- America needs immigrants not only for work we have a hard time finding Americans to do but to maintain a growing economy.
- Immigrants coming to America just want a job and a place to coexist peacefully unlike the ancestors of many of our xenophobes who came to kill, maim, and conquer. Luckily most do not share that proclivity.
We are all humans who share the same wants and needs. We should not let the pathologically evil to nudge us to their immorality. We must stand up to them and win.