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  • Edición impresa de Julio 15, 2014

 

In the prodigal son’s parable, the son misuses his fortune, loses everything and comes back seeking any place in his father’s house. The father with open arms, not only greets him, but also invites him to enjoy the house, the fields and everything in his possession.

When I look at the immigrant population in the U.S., I am looking for welcoming signs from their places of origin.

Most of them left home because they needed to make a living elsewhere, and many of them did well. In fact they did so well that nowadays one can look at the principal source of income of most Latin American countries and find out that their migrants are supporting the country!

With their hard earned dollars, they have not only supported their families here, but also their extended families in their places of origin. On top of that their respective countries have come up with all sort of programs, where the immigrants can participate with their money in order to make improvements to towns, neighborhoods and cities. This helps them do what their country never did.

So this is a reverse prodigal story. In this story the one who leaves has to make enough for him and for all others.

Now when the hard times come, there is no welcoming sign, saying. “‘Happy Homecoming’. We want you to enjoy what you have earned. Please, bring your things and your families and we will find a place of honor for you at the national table. We will assure you that we will make everything possible to make life easier for you. No extra taxes, no limitations, just come back, children of our homeland.” But the stories that I have heard lately are quite different.

The deported individuals and families are thought of as troublemakers. They did no good in their countries and when they look for a life elsewhere, they are rejected, persecuted and victimized.

Right now the main source of news is about the Central American ‘invasion’ to the United States. And the governments of each country south of the US are asked to commit themselves to not allow new migrants, and also make room for the ones being deported. They are the source of a ‘humanitarian crisis’. The way to deal with them is to think of them as a nuisance that has to be suppressed.

Never mind the history behind the financial and social disaster created by foreign multinationals in Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala. It is best to look at the current situation and name it as a crisis created by those who flee from their own countries.

Imagine having to care for all those children who are sent alone! Who is going to pay for that? Before those questions, there should be another one. Why does the situation exist? What was the original cause of this massive migration? For example, why is it that people from Finland, or Belgium, are not abandoning their countries, but Latino Americans and Africans are?

Do the Latino countries lack resources? Or, who has been taking their resources and using them to benefit others abroad instead of people from those countries?

It is easier to disregard the lives of others when you are in a better position, and only have to ‘think’ about solutions, without even asking those involved. We can cover all the misery with a bit of charity, and kind words. Some amounts can be sent to ‘help’ those in need. Do we even ask if this charity is just a poor restitution of the resources stolen from other countries?

Will there be some fair treatment for those in need?

 

 


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