Christmas’ is a very similar tale to that of immigrants. It is about the arduous search for a shelter in a city where they are foreigners, which eventually leads to the most humble place, a stable. That’s where, among many difficulties, a hope for the world was born.
This Christmas Eve finds immigrants fearing difficult times are coming, along with political changes in our country. The road was never easy for those who came to this land to seek a better life, and to make it prosper with the sweat of their brow.
Every once in a while, the arrival of immigrants with a different language, religion, race or ethnic group worried the settlers, who also descended from immigrants. The newly arrived suffered the fear, rancor and rejection that is manifested through contempt and discrimination. Those were hard times, but the Germans, Irish and Chinese – to mention just a few – overcame them through solidarity, determination and faith.
Mexican immigrants know that story well because of their country’s historic relation with the United States. Many generations lived the good times in which their labor was appreciated, and also the bad ones, when politicians decided to deport them like animals because they were not needed anymore.
Today, regrettably, too much of this past remains in place. Fortunately, much has changed in the present so we should not be pessimistic for the future.
Risks of deportation and family separation for many immigrants seem to appear on the horizon. The difference is that now there is a nationwide movement to protect undocumented people who are honest and hard-working. This is reflected in the resurgence of sanctuary cities.
Immigrants earned the affection of cities and states that know them by first-hand experience, not through anecdotes and hateful stereotypes.
This Christmas Eve let’s celebrate with family and friends because hope is not dead nor dying.
On the contrary, it’s more alive than ever in the unity and solidarity of our community, in the organizations that today – as always – are standing up to defend our people. And in all people of good will who generously open their doors to the traveler, recognizing his value.
Merry Christmas everyone!