A little over a week ago one of the women in our shelter quizzed me on who was in a position of responsibility over the US migration system. I described the bureaucratic organization and she said that she would love to have the opportunity to speak with one of the officials. I told her that if she wrote a letter I would translate and send it to whoever she would like. Of course she knows as well as the rest of us that President Barack Obama does not read personal mail and was discouraged by the prospect of writing a letter only to have it left unread. So I promised that I would also share the letter with other people in the US so that they would understand her story. Here is what she wrote:
Mr. President Barack Obama:
I send you a cordial greeting and am hoping that someday you may have time to read my letter. I am an immigrant who has illegally crossed the border of your country, a woman who has suffered abuse and humiliation from migration officials who treat us as if we were animals. They hit us even though we may be women or kids. They do not have any respect for us and all that we want is to work. But they don’t see it that way. They see us as delinquents and treat us accordingly. I beg you to please be more considerate with all migrants. We are people who migrate because we do not have economic resources to sustain our family. For us women it is not easy to leave our kids and our families to come to the US and suffer because they do not pay us what they should but instead exploit us even when we are there fighting for our families. Once a migration official asked me if I did not know how to enter the US legally. I answered that I did know but did not have the economic resources to obtain a visa. The official insulted me and all of us who were in detention. They are people who have a very hard heart.
A woman migrant