This is a sympathetic and powerful story of just a single child in a hundred who face the challenge of immigration in search of their family members especially their mothers. For instance, it is approximated that 48,000 children per year leave Mexico and Central America to look for their mothers in the U.S. Most of the parents don't leave their country because they want, rather circumstances force them to make such decisions. Enrique mother left Honduras to look for financial resources to be able to meet the needs of her children back at home.
The story in this book has really touched my heart and opened my mind to conceptualize how immigrants experience difficult moments and journeys while struggling for a better life. Personally, the story has impacted and challenged me on the issue of prejudice. Immigrants should be treated like other human beings and have right to liberty and freedom of movement. I would be happy if this book is read by most of the Americans so that perception towards immigrants can change.
From the book, we see that the United States is a destination of hope. Enrique is not traveling alone, many other migrants mostly children accompany him on the journey. The child-mother relationship is also very strong. Enrique says enough is enough after he missed her mother for many years and this fact makes him risk his life by traveling through hostile and unknown worlds. In life, things don't go as you expect. Enrique mother had a very strategic plan of going to U.S, get a job, and work hard and return home with good money for her family. All this turned to be the opposite. I also tend to think that absence of Enrique mother may have contributed to Enrique starting to sniff glue and her husband marrying another wife. This journey has for sure challenged my views on immigration, and I can now rethink more about my life.
To my opinion, this is how we should deal with the problems of illegal immigration;
Firstly, the government should distinguish between the lawful and unlawful immigrants in the United States. Those with criminal offenses and others who have prolonged their stay contrary to the period authorized should then be deployed back to their countries peacefully and not by use of force.
Making it a crime to any immigrant who does not possess legal documents from relevant authorities.
The government should collaborate with private sectors who mostly employ the immigrants. This will help in identification of legal or illegal immigrants.
Discouraging smugglers and asylum seekers.
Strengthening local police at the borders and inside the U.S
Creating more detention facilities as a control mechanism where all unlawful immigrants are detained.
Individuals who have entered the United States as illegal immigrants should be denied a chance for applying for citizenship
A law should be passed which prohibit the illegal immigrants the permission of getting the work permit.
Apply penalties to all companies which fail to scrutinize documents of its employees well hence get itself employing illegal immigrants.
Develop a strict entry and exit control system which check people. Properties and documents carried
Fencing at the boundaries can also be the last option after trying all the above. Though, I don't see it more effective since it is costly and still people will get some gaps to enter.
I therefore, support legal immigrants who possess all required documents to stay in U.S. The reason I have no trust with illegal immigrants is that some of them are criminals who commit even terrorism in the country.
Nazario, Sonia. Enrique's journey. Random House Incorporated, 2007.
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