Written by: Sister
Marge Clark, BVM
June 9, 2013
Mayor Salinas welcomed us to the wonderful city of Laredo.
He called the attention of all those gathered (about 100) to the terrible
amendment passed in the House on a party line vote. Rep. Steve King pushed the
amendment that would make DREAMers "criminals." He also quoted an unnamed
senator from Florida who said that even the
undocumented who serve in the military still should not eligible to
become citizens. And, he assured all
that the border is secure!
Iris shared her very compelling story. Having been brought
here as a child of 8, she soon became aware of what it meant to be undocumented.
All of her siblings had been born here. When they would go anywhere, she was
always told to be quiet, to not talk to anyone.
Why was it only she? Or she was
left at home. She didn't understand for
some time, and was very hurt. She was teased in school, and she lived in fear.
From the time she heard of the DREAM Act, she prayed for its passage so she
could go to college and fulfill her dream. She received a college scholarship,
as the top person in her class, but was unable to use it. Her visa was about to
run out. DREAM or marriage – they were the only ways she could remain here with
her family. She is now legalized, but not by a route she dreamed of. She married in order to become documented.
She was in a violent marriage, which has now ended, but she has not been able
to fulfill her dream. She spoke of all the women who get into violent marriages
in order to get papers, and how they have suffered.
Sister Rosa thanked her, reminding us all how easy it is to
ask people to share their stories – and how difficult it is for them to do it.
She went on to tell of a woman whose husband had been deported. They were
working to get him eligible to come back, following all the rules. Then she
developed breast cancer, with no health insurance. It developed further, they
kept pleading for his case to be addressed so he could be with her. Eventually
he was granted a 72-hour visit. As she was dying, they said goodbye by telephone.
They had spent over $10,000 and six years!
Their children are spread across family members, and the father is still
The hundred or so people ended the program with a prayer
that each read in his/her preferred language - followed by more conversation.