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  • Edición impresa de Abril 1, 2014

 

It’s been cold, dark and icy for weeks now. Everywhere you look there are leafless trees, and patches of yellowish brown pastures. On the first day of spring we had snow!

Two days ago we had freezing rain or snow showers, I still don’t see the difference.

It has been like that in most of the country.

Today after a cold but sunny day, for the first time in a long while, one could see people running and walking in the park, where by the way, there were plenty of families with children. Even our dog has been happily running in the back yard.

As I went there I looked and in the midst of this almost dead panorama, I saw a purple crocus! It was life emerging from the hard cold soil. It never ceases to amaze me how Mother Nature brings back life. We don’t see certain processes until we see life emerging.

People also have lives of their own. The will to live better is like the force of nature, an energy that doesn’t let go. Entire families are right now moving, leaving their familiar surroundings and running to places that do not welcome them, even more, that repel them and persecute them. World history has shown us these rivers of people moving and changing their future. Wasn’t that what brought the Europeans to the Americas? They came fleeing scarcity, religious persecution and economical hardship. They were looking for a new place where their families could have the opportunity of a better future. There were no visa applications at that time.

When the Spaniards first arrived in 1492 they quickly took hold of several territories in North, Central and South America, and also in the Caribbean. Portugal claimed a big portion of South America, now known as Brazil. Around 1607 England had a settlement in Jamestown, Virginia, and European nations like France and Denmark also had their own colonies. From then on, the Americas have been a magnet to all those who needed to change their luck, among them many Nazi Germans who arrived in Argentina after World War II.

Currently the economical forces that created the new trade treaties in the American territories have created a South-North movement of peoples fleeing the harsh conditions that left them without land and the means to support themselves, and the feeling that they must go North, seeking a better future for their families. They have been repelled with great force by those in power who implement laws to stop them. Laws are created to expel them, and many other laws to restrict their settlement or movements.

Latinos in United States can claim a presence that goes back to before the arrival of English speaking people. After that there have been subsequent waves of people migrating, some having been asked to come and work and others that simply came because they knew they could work here. For the newest arrivals the situation has been harder. Many of them are catalogued under the 11 million who are undocumented in this country.

If you watch the news you know that for a long period of time Latinos have had to fight for their right to be here, and be part of the country where they have worked and helped bring riches to. In the last three or four years they have been denied an immigration reform that responds to the reality they live.

Every day we hear about the deportations, broken families, threatened individuals who are always in fear of being sent back to places, that in many cases, they hardly recognize anymore.

To all those who oppose the presence of immigrants in the country I say, “Like the crocus flower emerging from the cold, the just call of immigrants shall prevail!”

 


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