Letter: The end of the American Dream | PostIndependent.com

Letter: The end of the American Dream

Oscar and Valeria. The baby’s arm still around her dad’s neck. Another senseless loss of precious human life, that could have been avoided. The U.S. government has made it so hard for people to ask for asylum at the regular points of entry to the country that people risk their lives and those of their family, powered by hope, and like the family of Valeria Martinez, 23 months, who died June 23 with her father, Oscar, 25, while crossing the Rio Grande, by the American Dream.

Oscar and Valeria. The baby’s arm still around her dad’s neck. Another senseless loss of precious human life, that could have been avoided. The U.S. government has made it so hard for people to ask for asylum at the regular points of entry to the country that people risk their lives and those of their family, powered by hope, and — like the family of Valeria Martinez, 23 months, who died June 23 with her father, Oscar, 25, while crossing the Rio Grande — by the American Dream.

This is the grim reality for millions of people in this world who weren’t as lucky as many of us are, who even have time and a computer to write this letter. We, the lucky ones, can spend hours online looking for how to make our house safer for our toddlers. For Oscar, from El Salvador, it came down to crossing the Rio Grande with his family looking for a better life away from misery and gang violence.

I wish I could call Bill Gates and Warren Buffet tomorrow and convince them to install rafts and boats to help people cross the river, something the U.S. should be doing by now.

This image reminds us all of the 3-year-old Syrian boy, Aylan Kurdi, whose body washed up on a beach in Turkey in 2015. It broke our hearts. When this happened it felt as if we all knew Aylan. Now, our hearts will be broken again for a long time. It really feels like we know Oscar and Valeria, that they are our family, our friends.

Why do we have to wait for people to be dead, face down in the water to see them for what they are — human beings that weren’t as lucky, and in the end they are just like us and deserve a better life just like all of us want for our children.

And even though we can’t see Oscar’s and Valeria’s faces, their eyes, just like we couldn’t see Aylan’s, we don’t need to do so. We know the faces of the people we love.

This inhumane immigration policy of rejection  and mistreatment of Central American human beings at the processing centers in Mexico and detention centers in the U.S. has to stop. Now.

This is the grim reality for millions of people in this world who weren’t as lucky as many of us are, who even have time and a computer to write this letter. We, the lucky ones, can spend hours online looking for how to make our house safer for our toddlers. For Oscar, from El Salvador, it came down to crossing the Rio Grande with his family looking for a better life away from misery and gang violence.

I wish I could call tomorrow Bill Gates and Warren Buffet and convince them to install rafts and boats to help people cross the river, something the U.S. should be doing by now.

This image reminds us all of the 3-year-old Syrian boy, Aylan Kurdi, whose body washed up on a beach in Turkey in 2015. It broke our hearts.  When This happened it felt as we all knew Aylan. Now, our hearts will be broken again for a long time. It really feels like we know Oscar and Valeria, that they are our family, our friends.

Why do we have to wait for people to be dead, face down in the water to see them for what they are? human beings that weren’t as lucky, and in the end they are just like us and deserve a better life just like all of us want for our children.

And even though we can’t see Oscar’s and Valeria’s faces, their eyes, just like we couldn’t see Aylan’s, we don’t need to do so. We know the faces of the people we love.

This inhumane immigration policy of rejection  and mistreatment of Central American human beings at the processing centers in Mexico and detention centers in the U.S. has to stop. Now.

Veronica Whitney
Carbondale


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