When Good People Go Mojado
This is not about immigration, so don't turn the dial.
Marta, 26, was my next door neighbor for the better part of two years while I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in a small village near the Guatemalan border. Like most Salvadoran families Marta, her husband Obed and their two little girls Judith and Johana were very close knit.
Marta and Obed have been in the US for two and three years respectively and announced Sunday that they have no intention of coming back. This implicates a serious problem for the family, seeing as Judith and Johana were left behind in the care of their grandmother. Marta's solution is a frightening one: bring the girls North with the aid of a coyote. Besides my gut reaction that an 11 and 6 year-old have no business wandering the desert with the likes of someone who trafficks in human lives, I've got a more philosophical objection to the plan.
At what point did living in the United States become more imporant than the safety of their children? When did the plan change from "let's work hard, save, and go back to El Salvador to give our girls a better life" become "hey! let's bring them over so they can go to Disneyland too!"
Maybe I've been here to long or maybe I'm just too traditional, but it seems to me that nothing should be more important than a mother and father raising their young daughters and that doing so should not implicate the childrens' lives. It seems down right selfish to me.
Like I said, this isn't about immigration. This is about family and responsability and the fact that materialism and the love of money can destroy even the strongest of family units.
When I asked the girls if they wanted to go to Los Angeles, Judith, 12, replied: "yeah, so I can learn English and I can have nice clothes." Six year old Johana said, "if Judith goes, I'm coming to live with you."
Perhaps gringa serrogate mothers can come to the aid of El Salvador's abandoned children to teach them English and buy them nice clothes and give them a poor substitute for the life they had when own mothers were here.