There is grief in the world today because the Spanish people have been victims of faceless terrorism. Once more the civilians paid with their lives for policies that they did not make or want. Spaniards were openly and massively against the war in Iraq, but their prime minister, Azner decided to support England’s and US acts of war against Iraq.

In other places of the planet like Haiti and El Salvador, the United States is accused of interfering with the political process in those countries. There is also a lot of sorrow here in Indiana.

There is too much power in the hands of a few making decisions that involve the lives of many others. But all that is far away. Here in the town where I live, Goshen, IN, USA, there are no bloody victims, but there are other ways in which people become victims of the powerful. In Elkhart County, Indiana, foreigners are facing laws that cage them in positions of weakness where they cannot complain.

First, the Department of Health, at its Vital Records Division, adopted a new policy for parents to request their children birth certificates. In the case of foreigners they will accept ID documents issued by foreign consulates or a foreign passport with an I-94 visa stamped on the passport that indicates its validity and permanence of the individual in the country. This means than even though the child born in US territory has the right to US nationality, that fact will not be able to be established if the parents lack documentation. This requirement so far exists only in this county.

Second, after the Patriot Act was established, the states decided to request a valid social security number in order to obtain a driver’s license or a state ID. For many undocumented workers who contribute to the wealth of this country, that is not a possibility. Therefore, from now on we will have more unlicensed, uninsured drivers sharing the roads with everyone else.

Third, a Virginia court decided that undocumented students were not to have access to public education, even though the constitution states that ANY child in US territory has the right to free education. How long will it be before the domino effect comes to Indiana?

There is a limit to what people can pacifically endure. The foreigners, more specifically Latinos, are reaching that point in which they see no hope for their case. The politicians promise an avenue out of their limitations, but that avenue instead of becoming a reality on the contrary is an avenue of persecution and oppression.

And here, while we look abroad to find wrongdoing, there are people being oppressed right next us and we are doing nothing about it. I hope that the people of good faith that have ignored these facts until now will start asking questions and obtaining answers as soon as possible.

Freedom and democracy are just empty words unless we are making sure that they are available for everyone around us. Rights that are stated in the constitution ought not to be changed by the authority of a recent Act, or the will of few without consulting the people.

Yes, I will cry and pray for those in Madrid, Iraq, Colombia, Haiti...and for those in Goshen, Elkhart, Nappanee in Indiana. Writing is my active praying. Will you pray with me? What is the next action?