A Tragic Tale of (Im)Migration

This NYT article about a twelve year old  (im)migrant’s journey that ended in a supposed suicide left me saddened.

This is the comment I wrote on the NYT about it:

“This article is heartbreaking. I can’t imagine having to make such a long journey abroad and alone. Although (for economic and personal reasons) I’ve chosen to live abroad myself, I always say that I would never move without my child if I had a child. That’s very easy to say. I was lucky to be born into one of the most developed, stable countries in the world (USA).

It is too self-righteous to shame parents or other members for making a choice that most of us will never have to make because we’re living in the privilege that comes with citizenship status. Case in point: I’ve been waved along when people are randomly stopped at an airport here in Venezuela as soon as the blue of my passport was shown.

The reasons people migrate without papers are vast and complicated. Quite frankly, many people–myself included–would migrate without papers if a war broke out, if they were starving more than eating, and if they felt like life would hold no opportunities otherwise.

Hope is a dangerous thing. It can get us out of ugly situations and thrust us into ugly situations where we imagine everything will end just fine.

I pray for her family and the many people who are in the midst and/or on the cusp of this exact same situation.”


2 thoughts on “A Tragic Tale of (Im)Migration

  1. So difficult to digest. Naomi was so young. I can’t imagine what she was feeling. There are so many different types of privilege in this world, but the one that comes along with being a United States citizen, regardless of where you fall on the social or economic spectrum, carries power. Pieces like this really make me reflect on my own privilege and all of the freedoms I take for granted as well as this complex immigration debate. I teach in the Bronx. Half of my students come from Ecuador. Naomi could have been one of mine.

  2. Agreed. Wow, the fact that you’re teaching in The Bronx and working with so many students from Ecuador definitely must make the article resonate. When I first read the piece I just sat…I didn’t even know how to verbalize it. (Im)migration is so complicated but the judgmental comments people posted on the article make it all seem so simple and easy. Billions of people wish it was that simple (and less heart wrenching).

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