I shed tears every time I see pictures from the National Day of Action, May 29th of last year, in which hundreds of UUs from every corner of my adopted nation answered the call of leaders from the UU congregations in Arizona and came, and marched for many miles under the Phoenix sun, side by side with me, with other human rights activists, with en-tire immigrant families, with many undocumented people who have reached the ¡Ya basta! point, proudly holding posters declaring to the world, I AM UNDOCUMENTED AND I‘M NOT AFRAID!.
The feelings of gratitude that I feel for all those UUs who again, just two months later, answered a simi-lar call to action have not diminished since July 29th, and I doubt they ever will.
A similar call, but different. This time it was a call to participate in Civil Disobedience during the National Day of Non-Compliance, in defiance of the beginning of the enforcement of SB1070, a law that, even after its worst portions were stayed by a judge, still shows the spirit of those few who crafted it, and signed it into law. Almost 100 people were arrested, 29 of them UUs, for Standing on the Side of Love with immigrant families. Most are still at-tending trials on the 20th, 21th, 27th, and 28th of January. We demonstrated our faith with action, because as someone‘s poster read, ―When oppression becomes law, resistance becomes duty.”
As I write this, I‘m flying to my beloved home city, Morelia, in the state of Michoacán, a red state, according to the United States State Department, because of the drug trafficking-related violence. I‘m sorry, nice people at the US State Department, but I have to go home now. Is that OK with you?
There are tears in my eyes. There are tears in many of my fellow passengers‘ eyes as well. We are flying home for similar reasons, unfortunate reasons, a loved one is ill, or worse, has passed away.
I'm fortunate, I remind myself amidst my sorrow. I am fortunate that I have the privilege to come and go across a border that every single year claims the lives of hundreds of dreamers who, just like I did decades ago, search for the opportunities that no longer exist in our places of birth.
I'm fortunate because what took me only a couple of years to get, the coveted green card, takes oth-ers decades. For those who need it the most, there just isn‘t one. Those who do not have a green card cannot travel to their loved ones in Mexico when they are needed most. It is painful, it is wrong, it must be stopped.
And as a Unitarian Universalist, I am sorry, but I will no longer remain silent, I certainly have something to say about that!
Posted on Tue, February 1, 2011
by Mar Cárdenas