Monday, October 22, 2018


The 900 Jews sailed on the MS St. Louis seeking asylum. that was denied entry in 1939. They were returned to Germany where many are known to have died in concentration camps. 
Others have been lost to history

My heart goes out to the people in the Caravan. I don't see them as a horde, but desperate people searching for a better life.

I too have been an illegal immigrant as I was trying to find a better life in Europe. Unlike the poor people who have struggled for thousands of miles as a white, well-educated woman with a small bank account to last through my job search, I arrived in France on Air France. I merely overstayed my visa.

My return to the U.S. was based more on my mother's illness. My choice. Life went on. The next time I moved to Europe, I was legal.

My daughter was an illegal immigrant as she job hunted in Switzerland. Her illegal status was accidental not realizing that Switzerland was part of Schengen and stayed beyond her 90 days. When she tried to reenter with us in Barcelona a year later, she was arrested an put in a cell.

We had not been told she had been banned from all Schengen countries for overstaying for two years. Again, a well-educated white woman with financial resources when she was released she flew back to the U.S. and back to her comfortable life.

For several hours we had no idea where she'd been taken. Even though she was an adult, it was terrifying. The American consulate, who usually provides diddly squat for their citizens was able to locate her. After that we were on our own. This is as close as I want to come to what parents with their kids in cages are going through.

This morning, I woke in a warm bed next to my husband and my dog. My problems include annoyance at a cluttered apartment and how much time will I find to write. First world problems. And even with a big imagination, I can not totally comprehend the suffering of these people.

Refugees come from poverty and/or violence. They suffer horrors that many who disparage them would be unable to cope with. Those living in safe places, probably have trouble imaging their house bombed.

The Jews in 1939 turned to the U.S. for help. They weren't given help.

They died.

The majority of people in the caravan have led lives that those who are turning them away will never have to face. They will continue with their first world problems rather than deal with hunger, bombs, etc.

We who have so much can make room for those who have so little but we don't. We repeat our cruelty to those less fortunate than we are.

My heart hurts for the people of M.S. St. Louis and for those in the caravan.

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