Translated by Marvin Najarro
The north is not always the United States, the north, for migrants and displaced people is a distant place where they go in search of a utopia. Forced by the circumstances which are the result of the ineffectiveness of a state, an historical oppressive system, and an inhuman and insensitive society.
Pushed by the circumstances they migrate from the town to the capital or to another country, and these change their lives. Since the moment they step out their nests, they will never be the same again. Something breaks up, something so valuable and intimate which is impossible to reconstruct and recover. It vanishes and breaks us up in two, a before and an after; it returns from time to time in the sighs of nostalgia. And like the memories, it can’t be touched it.
Migrations and forced displacement are the most painful exile; they become a living and bloody wound that never heals, not even with the return. This melancholy becomes a changing mood, because those who are forced to leave their nests are like trees that were uprooted, and even if transplanted elsewhere, will never grow leafy. Even if they are fertilized or the soil changed. It is the same with humans, even if they have material luxuries, or their working conditions change, nothing will fill the void of loss; the root is irreplaceable.
But sadly in the real cases of migration and forced displacement experienced by those the marginalized by the system, they face a post migration of humiliation and exploitation. Without documents and resources their journey becomes a hell, these migrants are abused in ways unimaginable by the authorities of the country of transit, by the criminal gangs that traffic them for infinite purposes, and also if they manage to reach the country of arrival, another kind of hell will be awaiting them: the post-border depression, the constant fear and paranoia of a deportation, and the daily labor exploitation.
The country of arrival can be any one; internal migrations are also a painful daily occurrence. The peasant who leaves his work in the fields to go to the city of cement. This wipes out any spirit. The sending of remittances, work overload, the stigma of being undocumented or a displaced migrant. The eternal insomnia, the anxiety, and the perennial pain of the broken nest. The broken family, because when one of the members migrates, the family is fragmented and lost, something that can never be recovered is lost. We all lose with the forced migrations and displacements, because when a human being emigrates, the traditions, identity, culture and talent emigrate too.
More often than not that talent cannot be developed at the place of arrival, because the conditions are also of exploitation and abuse, especially of invisibility and living in the shadows. In the case of the undocumented the marginalization is atrocious, as it is for an indigenous person or an Afro-descendant who migrates internally, and arrives to a city where he/she is discriminated with the worst of racism, not for undocumented, but for his/her origin. Needless to say if this person only speaks the language of his/her ethnic group.
When a human being is forced to migrate, we all lose.
How important is the life of an outcast that thousands should die trying to cross the borders of death? How helpful is the insensitivity and double standard of the world’s population that migration, and forced displacement -internal and external- continue to be an issue that does not matter?
The north is not always the United States.
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Ilka Oliva Corado @ilkaolivacorado firstname.lastname@example.org
The North is Not Always the United States
Translated by Marvin Najarro