It's been a long hot summer in America. Watching Trump lie daily. Seeing racism and sexism out in the open. But the worst sight was seeing children being separated from their parents on our border with Mexico. Living on the border. Border line. Bordering on insane. Borders, boundaries. Arbitrary lines created by governments. Protecting whom from what? More Mexicans are leaving this country than entering. MS-13 gangs started in Los Angeles, not Mexico. Who are we kidding?
In late June I got to meet Jose Antonio Vargas at the American Library Association meeting. He told his story. His mother sent him to America from the Philippines to live with his grandparents in California when he was 12. He didn’t know he was not a legal resident until he was in high school. He found out when he couldn’t go with his school choir on a trip to Japan because he had no passport. Later he couldn’t apply for scholarships to go to college. He ended up getting a special scholarship to go to college and went on to become a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist with the Washington Post on falsified papers. He’s 37 years old now and has "come out" as an illegal alien. He said it was harder to come out as illegal than to come out as gay, which he is also. He has spent time in detention in McAllen, Texas. He has not been deported. Yet.
Vargas has just written a book called Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen. This will be released in September. He said he might not be living here then. But he still considers himself an American citizen, even though this country thinks of him as an alien. The book was eye-opening and instructive. I highly recommend it.