Friday, August 21, 2009
They came with hopes of a better life, ten dollars in their pocket, and a phone card to call the only relative living in the States who might give them shelter. They left family, their homeland, the mother tongue. Their first English words were spoken when their feet touched this hallowed ground. With no land to till or crops to tend, they gladly took the jobs abandoned by the generation turning to computers and college.
Standing all day in near hundred degree heat next to machines as loud as lawnmowers, they pump out millions of items that magically appear on our store shelves, courtesy of the immigrant.
They’ll never be rich. They’ll never work in air conditioned cubicles. They know they are considered bottom of the wrung by so many Americans. But they have pride in what they do.
When “Bring Your Child to Work Day” comes around, they gather in droves, ushering their offspring to their stations, showing off their part in the assembly line of life. For some, it is the only time they’ve been known to smile.
They remember why they left and why they came.