On The Shoulders of the Undocumented

Translated  by Katrina Hassan

Every now and then, I go to a Mexican bakery, Arab owned, selling Mexican sweet bread, where they employ Mexicans. No one imagines that those arabs eat thanks to all the undocumented Latinos that live in the buildings nearby. They arrive in their luxurious Mercedes Benz and park at the back. The customers do not see them come in through the back of the shop. They never serve customers.

The majority of millionaires that live in the northern suburbs of the city have their businesses in the poor neighbourhoods where the undocumented Latinos live. 

Law practices, medical clinics, and shops. These millionaires aren’t precisely white.

In these groups we have the Afro-descendants, arrogant and exploitive. I am sure if they had a chance, these Afro-descendants would act the same or worse against the undocumented Latinos as the Caucasians did against their ancestors in the past. They’d whip them into oblivion and enslave them. 

The Asian restaurant owners in town, have Latin workers in the kitchen and in maintenance. Undocumented Latinos, so that they can be paid less, almost nothing, and they do triple the amount of work.

Indians know well just how to treat the undocumented Latino with disregard. They know that Latinos are the best beasts of burden. They actively look for Latinos because they know they can handle the work, and will take what is being paid, without saying a word. Indians, that in India and it’s class system, are themselves pariahs or Dalits. Here, they become the worse of exploiters. For not having the right documents and not speaking English, you must bow down to them.

Europeans that aren’t precisely German, French or English, but from small countries that few people have even heard of. They have arrived to the USA asking for political asylum. In their country, they never had anything more than a pair of shoes. They came with only the shirt on their backs. These people would give anything to break the back of the undocumented Latinos that they have as employees. 

What hurts most to the undocumented Latino, is the documented Latinos that exploit them until they burst. They are, of course, the bourgeois or the middle class. Those that have left Latin America with the residence card  literally in their hands. They live comfortably with the dollars they’ve somehow accumulated. 

There are also those that were once undocumented and now have their papers in order. These are the meanest and the most exploitive. They know where to hit without leaving a mark. The lowest of blows that hit the heart and soul. They know how to work someone hard, yet still have them on the breadline. They know exactly where the skin stretches the most. The most abusive, uncouth, conceited, the biggest swindler is the boss who was once undocumented.

When the undocumented first arrive in this country, they do not see it right away.

These things are learned after a few years. Eyes are opened, observing, analysing, and they question oneself. The mind comes out of the invisibility and stigma where the undocumented person lives, and dares to breathe outside of itself, if only for a moment. The reality of the exploitive system has many streams, and an infinity of faces.

The “Gringo” or Caucasian isn’t usually the person who mistreats the undocumented in this country. At the end of the day there are many inhumane people and it does not matter where they come from. Their profession, job, religion or sex does not matter. There are good people everywhere and there are perverse ones too. It is not about the country or about borders, it is about quality of the people. People without scruples that abuse those at the bottom.

The ones that can’t defend themselves. People the system has invisiblized so that the evilness of mankind rots while hoisted on their shoulders. Mankind that is determined to self destruct. 

What about you dear reader, tell me how the undocumented live in your country of origin. What are you doing so it changes?

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Ilka Oliva Corado @ilkaolivacorado

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