The summer is almost over and children are back in school. Normality has arrived in most homes that get ready for new schedules and goals. For other people though, the end of the year brings uncertainty and fear.
Sometimes people come to me and talk about their problems and their concerns. In this small city (Goshen, IN), with only 30.000 people, there are a number of concerns in the local population. I get to hear the foreigners, and they tell me about not finding jobs and production going down, especially in the RVs and home manufacturing industries.
I also hear about how many of workers do not have access to a drivers license because it has become a national ID document and they cannot submit the necessary documents to have one. Therefore they also have no insurance, nor can they have legal license plates on their cars.
I hope every other country in the world does not begin to request US citizens to have a legal license from their country in order to drive. Most US citizens use their local license or an international one, which is valid everywhere else but in the United States. A drivers license indicates that the holder knows how to drive and can read the signals (most of them international symbols); only in United States has the drivers license become a national ID.
I also hear strange rumors about several women been in jail. One of them in particular was taken from her home and the house was searched with no authorization. I also heard there are ten more women in similar situations. I cannot help but think that many local citizens are unaware of these or other situations that foreigners face. Where can people go and tell about the unfair treatment they are facing? What local organizations are taking steps to listen and follow through with questions and investigation of each case? Is it that we ignore these things and will continue to live in peace by ignoring what we hear about the lives of our neighbors?
I am only an individual. Therefore by myself I have no power, but if several others join in for dialogue and action we could have the power to speak and act in behalf of those who cannot do it by themselves.
The importance of working together lies in the fact that several opinions and ideas coming together can make a difference.
A short while ago a Methodist church in Chicago offered their church as sanctuary to an undocumented deportable woman. In solidarity many other churches are considering doing the same.
What are we doing? Have we had the time to discuss these issues at church, at the club, with friends, or family? Are we willing to at least inquire about one case, maybe a personal story from someone directly affected by what is happening?
I hope everyone who reads this editorial anywhere in the country feels compelled to seek real participation in the life of this country.