Thursday, May 20, 2010

From the mouths of babes...

During a visit yesterday to New Hampshire Estates Elementary School in Silver Spring, Maryland by First Lady Michelle Obama and Mexico's first lady Margarita Zavala, a second grade girl raised the question of the Obama administration's immigration policy and deportations. The exchange went like this:

Student: "My mom says Barack Obama's taking everybody away that doesn't have papers."

Michelle Obama: "Yeah, well that's something that we have to work on, right? To make sure that people can be here with the right kind of papers, right? That's exactly right."

Student: "But my mom doesn't have any."

Michelle Obama: "Well, we have to work on that. We have to fix that, and everybody's got to work together in Congress to make sure that happens. That's right."

First, to the Obamas: That sounds like a promise to me and we should never break the promises we make to our children, so it's time for the President to get to work on immigration reform and not make excuses for political expediency.

Segundo, a nuestra comunidad: Es una vergüenza que una niñita tiene el valor de hablar directamente a la primera dama de los Estados Unidos sobre este tema mientras nosotros los mayores, cuando se nos pide salir en la calle, firmar una petición, llamar a nuestros congresistas o tomar otra acción a favor de una reforma migratoria justa, tenemos mil pretextos por no actuar..."es que me salió una casa para limpiar este sábado", "soy cristiano y no entro en la política", "me van a despedir/deportar/encarcelar (pick one)", "no aguanto el frio/el calor", "no puedo estar de pie", pretextos porque tenemos miedo de salir en defensa de nuestros valores. Aprendamos de esta niña y la próxima vez que hay una marcha o otra acción, hagámonos presente. Este no es asunto de nuestros bebes; es asunto de nosotros. ¿Vale?


  1. You got to forgiver me, but this looks to me like a staged question. This girl has been coached.
    The school is in Maryland, one of the most liberal states about immigration and just happened that it takes place when the Mexican first lady shows up.
    What a coincidence and timing for this little girl to be so aware about her parent’s legal status

  2. Nobody who knows that community believes the girl was coached. Unlike in the wealthier suburbs of Virginia, the topic of what is happening to undocumented people, the separation of families through deportation, etc. is so pervasive in that part of Maryland that it is not at all inconceivable that this little girl would know a) Obama's position and b) her mother's status. I thought she might have maybe participated in rallies with CASA but since CASA does not apparently know the family (according to news reports), there is not an indication that they were involved. For the record, today's Hispanic weeklies say the family is Peruvian.