Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Distance Between Us Post 5

When Jose Varagas was 12 he left the Philippines to come to the USA.  He boarded a plane with who he thought was his uncle, but turned out to be a coyote that illegally brought him to the United States.  At the time he did not know he was illegally coming here.  He went to go live with his grandparent, Lolo and Lola, he did not discover he was illegally there until he went to go get a leaners permit.  The person working there whispered to him that his papers were fake.  However, he believed that if he worked hard, he would prove himself as a person and be granted citizenship.  He was wrong.  For the last 14 years he has worked hard as a journalist and he has not been granted citizenship.

Image Courtesty of "Wikipedia"
This is a truly sad story of a seemingly perfect American, but America does not think of him as a citizen.  This seems like a very common theme with many illegal immigrant that are in America. They feel like they are an American, but America feels nothing towards them.  Nearly all the main character in the book saw themselves as only an American who wanted to forget their past, or a Mexican-American whom embraced both cultures.  I feel especially bad for Jose, as he thought that he was there fully documented, and legally until the fateful day at the DMV.  At least whenever Reyna, Carlos, and Mago were crossing the border, they knew they were doing so illegally, this in some ways is better.  It helps them to understand what they can and cannot do until they gain legal status, in a way it helps keep them from getting their hopes to high.  Which I know sounds horrible, but it is the truth for many illegal immigrants.  Imagine how embarrassed and scared Jose must have been when the DMV turned him away, this could have been avoided if his parents told him the truth about how he go there.

I know, now you think I am the type of person who walks around telling kids that Santa Clause isn't real, making balloon animals for them, then popping it, and telling them that their parents are paid to act like they love them.  But, I'm not.  It is what I truly believe, for instance in Gattaca the main character knew he was going to die young, this allowed him to make the most of what he had, and instead of complain, he worked on fixing it.  Actually, Gattaca has a lot to do with undocumented immigrants in general, it is about a man that blood tests showed that he was going to die early, so no one would hire him.  He then has to fake his papers, and never tell anyone that he has fake papers in order to get a good job.  Another interesting point I found in the article was how much mistrust he must have had to never be found out, he couldn't even trust those closest to him with his secret. This made him distance some people and never get into a long term relationship.  One of the reasons I believe that Reyna distanced herself from others, and fell in love with books because she was subconsciously pushing many people away.

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