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A Letter of Thanks from an Undocumented Immigrant

by Gustavo Javier Saturday, May. 06, 2006 at 8:50 AM

Hello Friends, First of all, I would like to take the opportunity to THANK everyone who supported the marches and the boycott on behalf of all my immigrant sisters and brothers.

We were all part of this in one way or another; from those who physically participated in the marches and the boycott, to the spectators who were glued to the radio or television grabbing bits of what we were doing. I think I also want to thank the critics and all those who were against the movement for taking the time to analyze immigration to some degree. Perhaps their opposition inspired us even more to come out to the streets and express our frustrations, some five hundred years old. Thanks Sensenbrener, look what you have created.

I am Gustavo Javier, a proud UNDOCUMENTED immigrant from the Aztec country. I attended both of the main marches on May 1, (downtown L.A., and McArthur Park) and stayed away from work as a gesture of solidarity (necessity) to my fellow immigrants. Let me gossip: there were three times more people than any number you got on the newspaper or television medium. The truth is that this march and all of its ingredients could never fit inside a television cubicle, or the imagination of some. There were people as far as the eye could see. I don’t think the wonder of the marches even fits in these lines I manipulate here in my attempt to describe it. It was very comforting to see whole families with kids, uncles, and even grandparents. Each one of those individuals had a unique way to show support; some with flags, guitars, crystalline jaranas, trumpets, and drums. There were posters with all kinds of acclamations, exclamations, interrogatives, and imperatives. One could see the beautiful amalgam of peoples from diverse races and colors supporting the cause from other states of the country. It was a surreal reality; like parallel worlds converging in the same current, like an artistic confection of señor Diego Rivera. I should point out that one could feel an immense sense of PEACE and friendship among all people in every corner. I felt as if I was with those that have cried my tears; those who have suffered the same losses. On that day we were celebrating the same victory.

I want to detract from an earlier comment. It wasn’t really thanks to Sensenbrener that this massive movement was generated. The immigration issue in the U.S. was a time bomb ready to explode any time. Sensenbrener was just a catalyst for what inevitably would happen anyways. The theme of immigration should really begin at the very moment human beings start to think abstractly. What motivates any species to migrate from one place to another? How long is a nomad a nomad before he or she becomes sedentary? Don’t armed wars, economic, ideological, religious, and racial wars vomit a vast amount of innocent victims? All empires striving for machiavellic rule are forced to sacrifice a portion of the society to have scapegoats, and to be in power. In earlier times they were called serfs, or slaves; now we’re “undocumented immigrants,” or, unimaginably, “illegal aliens.” Ricardo Arjona says, “The moon freely slides through the blinds of our windows…” Immigration is a tendency of natural selection, rather a necessity. Don’t we migrate from home to work every day? The truth is that NOBODY born on this planet earth is illegal, and the best (an alternate) explanation I offer is that the land and the blood that works it are united in a bond almost maternal. “The land belongs to those who work it.” Zapata said, and therefore the ambitious and inane theory of territorial jurisdiction is flawed.

We should also look at the bigger picture and be aware that the issue of immigration in the U.S. is one of the many consequences of globalization. Of course Neo-liberalism has its own interpretation of migration with NAFTA and the armed interventions in other countries. Their interpretation leaves out human values and replaces it with fucking money, and they don’t care that families, cultures, histories, and even infra structures of complete nations are being fractured.

But not even the crude cyclic presence of this history expects happenings like the one on May 1 in the U.S. That day proved, with the most convincing evidence that the power still resides in the masses. It asserted that the individual is powerful and together we are even more powerful. There is no way back, and with enthusiasm I want to inform the world that SI SE PUEDE! Yes, it’s possible! A massive movement, like the one on May 1, happened in the very same country that shelters Globalization and Neo- liberalism. The purpose of this march was not only for me to get my papers, but to create CONSCIOUSNESS about the immigrants in all the orb’s corners. Let’s dedicate more marches and consciousness to the immigrants of Morocco who immigrate to Spain, to the refugees that escape destruction in Iraq and hellish Sudan, to those who crossed the Bering stretch to populate this place, to all the immigrants of the world.

Perhaps it’s too soon to say that things are going to change. Perhaps I will keep on driving without a license and living under the city’s shadows. But I do feel I’m being born again into what I was, what I am: a brave warrior watching a volcano’s sleep, an architect of pyramidal monuments, and a connoisseur of the heavens. I am an undocumented immigrant, and I feel like a sex organ that has been stimulated and it’s about to erupt.


Gustavo Javier

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