Imagine, if you can, unable to walk out of your home because your hard-earned wages will be stolen by people on the street; or you are of an age sought by actors of corruption within the police force or street-gangs, and sometimes you can’t tell the difference. So you walk for two-to-three months with only a dream to keep you going.
Meet Jorge Joyal. He is 29 years old, from Honduras, and a father to a six-year-old daughter. Mr. Joyal said that he walked for two-to-three months with the hope of coming to the United States. The above exercise in imagination is his life story. While his dream to come to the United States has taken a detour, Mr. Joyal has been offered support and assistance by the Mexican government. He has applied for permission to work in Mexico and hopes to have employment at one of the high-tech companies offering employment assistance to refugees and asylum seekers.
On Tuesday December 4th, 2018, DIF accounted for a total of 2,331 persons residing in the shelter designated for families with children.
On Thursday December 6, 2018 acting New York Attorney General Underwood: “13 AG’s are filing an amicus brief today to challenge the Trump administration’s efforts to restrict applications by immigrants seeking asylum. This is a de-facto denial of asylum. It is illegal, it is inhumane, and it must end.”
Attorney General Underwood goes on to write: “More than 6000 Central American immigrants, including over 1000 kids, are stranded outside California’s ports of entry waiting to present their asylum claims. They are living outside in extreme weather, without access to basic services, so that they can have a chance at a better life.”
In this newly sprouted village at our southern border at Tijuana, amid lives stranded, one can see signs of former life ritual in children and teens playing soccer, in adding color to hopes and dreams in large scale graphics, and in the power of listening in the peer-to-peer conversations.
Mariana Caña and Maritza Escobedo are doing such work – listening. They are listeners, rendering the power of the compassionate ear. Both Caña and Escobedo are students in Psychology at the UABC (The Autonomous University of Baja California ) Both Caña and Escobedo are student volunteers, conducting health questionnaires of the refugees in affiliation with the NYU School of Medicine, under the direction of Dr. Allen Keller. According to his bio: “Dr. Allen Keller is Associate Professor of Medicine at New York University School of Medicine, Director of the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture (PSOT) and Director of the NYU School of Medicine Center for Health and Human Rights.
Perched overlooking El Barretal, Caña and Escobedo, listen and conduct their health questionnaires as volunteers for NYU school of medicine.
From my archive, a two-minute portrait of attorney Sarah Weddington, during a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood, in Orange County, California. Sarah Weddington is the attorney who argued the landmark case Roe v. Wade.
Today, Thursday June 18th, 2020 we await a potential, pending decision from the Untied States Supreme Court regarding, a woman’s right to decide for herself, her most intimate and private rights over her body, and her access to health care services, independent of religious beliefs or constructs.
For so long legislation has imposed and seized a woman’s body to determine what rights, control and access she has or had over her own body – this has/had expressed itself through healthcare choices, pregnancy, birth control or contraception, fertility choices, a right to choose (abortion as an option), or significantly in the employment of Eugenics in the enforced sterilization of women.
For the love of (wo)mankind, it appears that the male driven paradigm has determined both sides of the coin for far too long. No longer. You cannot have it both ways. NO longer should this paradigm decide for women, especially women of color who is fit to give birth, who is mandated to be sterilized, when or if a woman gives birth or not. It seems to me that enforced sterilization is a method of birth control justified by racist and discriminatory policy. This white male paradigm has owned our bodies for too long, we are not you chattel.
Image copyright Ana Elisa Fuentes and licensed through Alamy.