Recently I attended the Bilingual National Conference on Sexual Assault called Our Voices (Nuestras Voces). I was invited along with other students. We presented immigrant stories that of the people that suffered abuse at work and in their lives. It was presented in the form of performing arts. Two of the stories presented there were part of the ethnographic research that I made. The conference was at Laredo, Texas. It was great experience and I met a lot of people from all over the country and here I understood the necessity of having bilingual professionals.
Despite of having a great experience I also was a witness of something heartbreaking. At the end of the conference we decided to walk around. We never even imagined that we would see an immigration truck deporting people to Mexico. We were about to cross the street and we saw the truck from immigration services.
The truck stopped and the immigration agents came out. They took out some things from the bottom of the truck. I think these were immigrants’ personal effects. Afterwards, women started to come out. They had handcuffs and chains on their legs. Agents gave them their personal belongings and took off their handcuffs and chains. They opened the door to Mexico and screamed “let’s go” and let the women pass. Men were next. In that group there was a young person that couldn’t be older than 13 years old and there were younger ones as well. They all looked humiliated, tired and without a hope.
We did not know what to do. We decided to make signs with our hands and we screamed, “don’t lose faith.” One of the immigration agents, by the way he was Hispanic, looked irritated because we were doing that. We watched about 50 immigrants being deported to Mexico.
Nobody takes time to think that every day people are being deported. Those people, like many of us, came to this country because of the necessity. I will never forget the faces of those immigrants. Deception and angst was written on their faces. These immigrants were let go in the afternoon. They still had to look for a place to spend night. Watching how they threw people as they were animals made me angry. They said that they wouldn’t deport anyone who is not a threat to a country, but I was asking myself, what kind of threat do these people pose? They are also humans. I understood that I have a great privilege as a person and I got strength to go on in my life. They might have deported those immigrants, but they will not give up. They will continue fighting for their lives like we all do.
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