December 18, 2020 | Español
Editor’s Note: The author of this piece is an asylum seeker under the metering policy, and has been helping to organize the #SaveAsylum Marches that have been happening at the border for the last 6 months. Esmeralda is not her real name.
Hello! My name is Esmeralda. I’m from the state of Guerrero in Mexico. #SaveAsylum is a campaign that’s taking place here, in Nogales, and aims to support every immigrant who’s waiting to be processed for asylum.
I’d like all of the United States to support the #SaveAsylum campaign, because we are lots of people who are in danger and we can’t go back to our homes. Similarly, there are thousands of Central Americans here who are suffering and enduring the same situation—and even worse things under their own governments. I’d like our words, our voices, and our struggles to reach every corner of this beautiful American country, and I think that will be the case, as we have the support of several media outlets, thanks to whom we will receive even more support.
I joined the campaign when I started attending meetings, conferences, and protests in order to contribute at least a little to this grand project. I joined this fight because I want to support our people, since we’re all suffering due to several economic, political, and social factors. When I joined this movement, I noticed the strong sense of solidarity and fighting spirit among the people in this project; the desire to lend a helping hand to those who, like I, need it. How? By helping others regardless of their nationality, color, or language. No exceptions. You could feel in the air the frustration, the fear, and the uncertainty of families who, in spite of all of that, dared stand up and raise their voice.
I thought this was one of the best ways to show the world the fighting spirit of many families who have experienced loss; who have suffered; who have felt they’d lost their purpose and fell victim to despair and stress. And yet, they held their head high, still hoping for a better future. I am encouraged by the fact that small acts of kindness can change the future for people who need it, and I also enjoy helping people who, like me, are trying to provide our children with a better future.
Each event we organize encourages me to keep fighting this fight, and I have complete faith we will be victorious thanks to all the American brothers and sisters who are joining our cause. Every day, there’s more of us. Every day, we move closer towards reaching our goals. At first, we weren’t so sure we could do it, but there was a sudden, positive change with today’s victory: President Elect Joseph Biden. To me, that moment was a glimmer of hope.
At the beginning of the event that took place on December 2, I saw the joy in people; they were ready to spread encouragement and hope with their presence and their voice from Las Golondrinas square to the port of entry. During that time and the caravan, you could hear in their voices the joy and hope that, soon, the border will be open and we will ensure the safety of our top priorities: our children, our parents, etc.
We proceeded to pray in the name of all of us who put our faith in God. Afterwards, we continued to move towards the wall, where the #SaveAsylum group was already waiting for us on the American side to continue with the event. To me, the most symbolic moment was when the Congresswoman’s spokesperson read her letter. On that moment I, as well as everyone there, felt indescribable joy as we realized thousands of people had noticed our event and that they weren’t discarded or rejected.
I hope that, as a result of this movement, immigrants’ voices will not be silenced; that all of us are provided help, no exceptions, as we are all humans and have the same rights. And as humans, we also want ourselves and our families to be safe, even if, in order to achieve that, we were forced to leave behind everything that took us years to build.
As for me, I don’t ask for compassion. I just ask that people understand my circumstances and realize that I don’t mean to enrich myself, but to provide my kids with the best possible future for them, by taking them far from the dangers surrounding us.