Still Hiding

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By Christie Purifoy

When President Trump announced the end of DACA, another battleground in his ongoing fight against immigrants and immigration, I observed my blonde, blue-eyed, non-Spanish-speaking child with alarm. His biological link to Mexico is well hidden, but will actions such as Trump’s make it easy for him to learn to hate a part of himself?

My husband is the son of an immigrant from Mexico. When I say that my husband’s family moved here legally, I am not describing their virtue. When I say they came legally, I am simply noting that there was a legal path for them to follow, and they followed it. Not every immigrant eager for new opportunity is given such a path.

Two decades ago, I worked for an adult education non-profit. My colleague “Andrea” and I organized programming and tutored adults. I had recently completed college, and Andrea was preparing to begin.

I was with her in the office the day the local community college telephoned. They told her the social security number she had included on her application belonged to someone else. They would, quietly and discreetly, feed her paperwork through the shredder.

“I didn’t know,” she told me through tears.

By the end of that day, I understood that Andrea would no longer dream or plan. She would hide.

Andrea had been brought to this country by an uncle when she was fifteen. She had been handed paperwork and sent to the local high school. The uncle had moved on years before in search of work. She knew no one in the village of her birth. By the end of that day, I understood that Andrea would no longer dream or plan. She would hide. With dark eyes, dark hair, and a Spanish lilt in her English voice, it would never be easy.

I moved away and lost touch with Andrea. I often wonder if she is safe and well. I wonder how she feels as she scrolls through her news feed.

Perhaps it seems obvious that Donald Trump was not talking about my family, or even my friend Andrea, when he said, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best.” Yet to me, it still feels personal. I’m guessing it feels personal for Andrea, too. But I have no way now to know. Because Andrea, wherever she is, is most likely still hiding.

Christie Purifoy earned a PhD in English Literature at the University of Chicago before trading the classroom for a farmhouse, a garden, and a blog. Her first book is Roots and Sky: A Journey Home in Four Seasons.

Will you pray with us?

#PrayforDREAMers is a national movement of public prayer on behalf of young people brought to the United States as children, who now face the risk of deportation unless Congress passes a clean DREAM Act to provide a path to citizenship.

On Thursdays at 5:00 pm, will you stand with us to pray for DREAMers? You can pray on your own or with a group.

(The most important part of this effort is the action, not the specific day and time. Choose a day and time that you can pray consistently until legislation is passed. Pray the next time your book clubs meets or your band rehearses; pray as you transition from Sunday School to the Sunday worship service; pray after dinner, before walking into swim lessons, or on the way to school. Just choose a time and pray.)

Visit #PrayforDREAMers for more information.

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