Sunday, October 04, 2009

Tres Pechos

The Fair still has the side shows. This poor woman has three breasts. We didn't go see them.

But that isn't what I'm writing about today. While we were at the fair, we talked with a young man for quite a while. His story is still going around in my head. I'll call him Juan. He was a good looking, cleancut man. The kind of guy you would like to have in your neighborhood.

When Juan was a boy his mother took him to the USA. He said that when they crossed the border they just walked across and went to stay with some relatives. He graduated from high school in the USA. His English was perfect. After high school he went to work and as young men do, he fell in love, got married. She was a US citizen. As the government began cracking down on businesses for hiring undocumented aliens, his boss told him he needed papers. He wanted Juan to get them because he was a good worker and the boss wanted to promote him.

By this time a baby was on the way. Juan knew he needed to get his immigration status settled so he could take care of his family. Moving to Mexico to live wasn't an option with his wife. So Juan returned to Mexico alone to try to get permission to live in the USA. The baby has gotten very sick when the wife has visited him in Mexico so she doesn't want to visit here either and besides it is very expensive for her and the baby to come back and forth. Juan told us how much he misses his family and how he is especially missing seeing his baby doing all the "firsts" that babies do.

Juan decided that while he was here working on the paperwork and waiting, and waiting, he would go to college and that would help him when he got back to the USA. He went to the University in Guanajuanto to enroll. When he showed them his high school diploma, the University said that since he didn't graduate in Mexico, he would have to pay three times the tuition even though he was a Mexican citizen. The only jobs he has been able to find are jobs that pay $10 a day.

Juan is a sad man with a foot on both sides of the border. He was such a nice young man. My heart goes out to him and his family. I hope that the attorney who is helping him try to get his papers through the US Consulate is really "helping him" and not just taking his money. I have a feeling that there are a lot of other Juans.


Isla Deb said...

That is a very sad story. Sometimes I really wonder why life has to be so difficult. I hope he gets reunited with his family soon. (And I think I would have passed on the tres pechos, too.)

Calypso said...

When I read a story like this I wonder why most people are so pro borders.

I hate the whole idea of some governing body ruling on people's lives in such a manner.

Red tape is an oasis of permanence in a sea of change. This man should be with his family; anything less is criminal.


One of the Juan's

billow said...

In Zacatecas, I met a man who had spent 32 years in the U. S. since he was a child, had a business in Mission, TX and never got his "papers". He was deported for a DWI. He moved his family to Zacatecas and was struggling to get back legally.

It just doesn't seem right.

Billie said...

Bill, I'm sure that there are many "Juan" stories of children who were brought to the USA by their parents and grew up with a US mentality. I hope that it is easier for them to get papers to enter the USA legally than it is for others who have crossed the border as adults illegally.

DanaJ said...

Billie, that would be a sensible start to this complex situation: to legalize the children brought over by parents. King Solomon-ish.

Leah Flinn said...

My husband is another 'Juan'. He went from washing dishes in the US to running a very successful Mexican restaurant. But, the stress of not having papers becomes too much after a while, so we decided we would move to Mexico together. I have no desire to plead to the US government to allow us to live together in my home country. If they do not think keeping families together is their best interest, then families have to leave in order to stay united. There are many more stories like this. It's sad when families are torn apart, but in my case I'm so glad I've expatriated to Mexico where we feel free.

Islagringo said...

Yes, there are many other "Juan" stories. I'll be doing a two parter "Juan" story myself soon. Tragic.