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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Who wins? Two immigrant children run a 5 mile race. One is legal, one is not. dream walkers, dream act


Miguel and Carlos are friends.  Sort of.  Miguel’s parents are wealthy.  His father is a doctor and decided to come to the United States to practice medicine.  He was able to cross the border legally as he studied here when he was in college.  His children lack for nothing as he is easily able to provide for their needs.


Carlos’s parents are undocumented.  So is Carlos.  They came across the Arizona Desert.  It costs a lot of money to bring a family across “La Frontera” so the easier but more expensive routes were out. 


The journey took three days of walking and two more days piled one on top of another in a car.  Since Carlos was the baby of the family and small, he was jammed on the floor of the car in the front seat.  There were times he thought he was going to suffocate as the floor was really hot and there were people on top of him.


Before that there were three days in a safe house in Phoenix.  The word “Safe” is not descriptive.  The nephew who promised to come up with $5,000 to pay the Coyote showed up late.  Carlos knew his father was worried as the brute who showed them the way through the desert was not a patient man and he expected his money, now!  Everyone was grateful when the nephew finally showed up with the funds.  The Coyote refused to give them food anymore.  They did not know what the Coyote was going to do with them if they could not pay.


Carlos and Miguel are friends sort of.  One comes from a wealthy family, one comes from a poor family.  Wealth divides.


One day, there was a school race.  Carlos was a fast runner.  This was going to be a very long race and he had a good chance of winning.  His only real competition was his rich friend Miguel.  It was a toss up who would win the race.  Each boy desperately wanted first place.  They practiced together.  Sometimes Carlos would win.  Sometimes Miguel would win.  However, Carlos was concerned.  His shoes, third generation addidas, were nearly worn out.


Miguel was talking to Carlos a few days before the race.

“Look at my new shoes!  These are the best ones made!  I asked my dad and he said he would do anything to help me win!”

Miguel related the story about asking his father. 

“I will buy you new shoes, Miguel.  But I cannot come to cheer you on.  I have to work that day.”

Carlos was happy for Miguel that he could have such nice shoes.  Carlos decided he should ask for new shoes, too.

“Papa.  Remember the race I was talking about?”


“Como no, hijo!  I will be there to cheer your on!”


“Papa.  I need new shoes.  The one’s I have are worn out.  My big toe touches the ground because the soles are worn out.”


Carlos’s father turned to his son, tears welling in his eyes.


“You know we don’t have money for shoes!  Your grandmother has nothing to eat in Mexico.  I am having trouble putting food on the table.  We are late on rent.  I am sorry, but I cannot buy you new shoes.”


The question I have for all of you is, who won the race?  Why?

Remember the big event on May 1st, 2010.  There are parades and rallies throughout the United States.  Come have fun with us!  And if you want, bring a new pair of shoes!

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