Friday, April 1, 2011

Courageous Children

I am known to have an affinity for the sad things in life. I know the news is always filled with depressing stories but I seem to have a gift of finding the worst of the worst and passing it on to others. And so here is one for you all. 

I recently watched a documentary called, “Which way home” and wasn’t really sure what it was about but figured it wouldn't be that melancholic. It ended up being horribly eye opening! Cammisa takes us on a journey north which should ideally end in the land of the free but rarely ever does. Nothing too earth shattering about that since millions of immigrants try to enter the United States illegally. But we always associate this journey with adults, not children! Turns out thousands of children try to cross over illegally and ALONE. Some do so to find their parents while others hope to find work so they can send money back home. Some of these kids are as young as 9! I can’t imagine a 9 yr old from the States trying to travel for a month alone with all the perils of the journey continuously in front of them. Kids here couldn't even fathom that.

It really got to me because these kids grow up so fast during this journey, faster than than they would have to at home even under the poor conditions. They have to witness accidental deaths, murders, rapes, muggings, defeat and all without any family or friend in sight. This is not something a child should be witnessing, let alone be experiencing!

What makes it worse is that they genuinely believe things are amazing in America. They will sneak in and find adoptive parents or jobs or reconnect with their parents and their lives will be set. Little do they know that things are never that simple. If some do make it in, they get caught practically right away at the border and are then placed in detention centers until they can be deported back. After all this, some attempt it all over again. 

I admire their strength, courage and determination to reach their dream. But hope that the number that attempt this do decrease rather than increase each year.

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