Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Plight of an Immigrant in NYC

While riding on the slow downtown 6 train (What else is new, eh?) A gentlemen tries to get my attention. He starts to tell me a story about a woman who he saw on Brook Avenue that looked like Michelle Obama flanked by police. The police told him that he could look at her but not take any photos. Not that it could happen since his phone didn't have a camera on it.

He shifts subjects on how happy he is that Barack Obama was elected President. His hopes are that President Obama can help his cause by changing the immigration and immigrant laws that are keeping him from seeing his son. Now I'm no sure what law in specific he's referring to but it seems to be a sore topic for him as his eyes well up as he speaks to me about how his son is 10 years old and resents him for not being there. The boy doesn't understand the reasons why they are separated.

The conversation shifts to how he works "like a mule" six and often seven days a week to do all he can to provide for his son and nothing else. He doesn't do it for fancy clothes and accessories: the man is simply dressed in green and black gear and no name brand work boots.

I really wish that these people who are vehemently anti-immigrant could hear this man's words and see the emotion on his face and the tears in his eyes. I guess all anybody needs is someone to talk to, even on the 6 train. I'm glad I could give him the outlet that he needed to express his thoughts in a dignified manner. It was the least that I could do as the son of immigrants.