Last year I shared a meal with the kindest gentleman. He spoke of his close to forty year, love filled marriage to his wife. He glowed with pride at his four honor student daughters, determined they attend college. Despite the deep sense of connection to his family, Alberto did not know when he would kiss his wife again nor if he would be able to watch his daughters toss their graduation caps. I held his hand and forked rice into my mouth in a town of barriers south of the border.
Last week I sat in a room of the U.S. Senate Building. Before me a group of individuals with immense power listened to testimonies, pleas, and arguments for those who wish to call this country home. For opportunity- a chance for dignified work, a chance for education and empowerment. For family- for the Albertos among us who want nothing more than to hold the hands of their loved ones. For true existence: to be recognized in a world that has long since shunned the undocumented.
Today I stood in front of the Whitehouse, held a microphone to my mouth and voiced a desire that has long been on my heart, “that the U.S. Mexico border fence be torn down!” From deep within, I felt the sting of injustice for God’s children at the mercy of lines drawn on a map and barriers built by man. Yet, there was a small stirring of hope. Hope sprung from the acknowledgment of others who care as well. These others from NGO’s, faith based groups, advocates, and politicians who may never have had to consider where they or their family members were born. And, still they decide to fight. They too, long for the day when Alberto will sit beside his wife in a large stadium and through tears of joy see his youngest daughter receive her college diploma.