Chronicle of a Deportation

28 Jun 2010 by Fausto Sicha, No Comments »

Fausto: Dear cousin, are you ready to leave?

Gustavo: Even if I am not the time has come.

Fausto: Ok then, let it be as your destiny dictates you. But before those who are
destroying your life and are denying you a better future take you away
from my presence, I came here to say; dear cousin, in this country we have
shared things that we were unable to in our country, and those are the
things that give pleasure to our body. Let’s keep our hope alive, and
believe it dear cousin, one day somewhere in the world you and I will talk
about the things that satisfy the mind, the things that give peace of mind.
We will talk about the liberty that we never enjoyed in this country, the
liberty that they denied to both of us.

Gustavo: Are you implying that they instead of hurting me, they are giving me
liberty with this deportation?

Fausto: That is unknown to me. That is unknown to me my good friend. But I
hope that your determination will drive you in that direction.

Gustoavo: I have a favor to ask.

Fausto: While time still remains feel free to ask me whatever you need.

Gustavo: I have no time to tell them goodbye, and it will certainly help if you read
this farewell to my little brother, my cousins, and my friends. It is
important that they know that I did not give up without fighting.

The curiosity convinced me and I started to read, but soon he disappeared from my presence, when I finished reading, unable to understand his fate, I raised my head and my eyes witnessed in the distance a weak hand that waved me goodbye.

Here is what he wrote:

While I was in jail, I fall asleep and started to have the dream that you can read below, but then, the sad melody of a lonely bird woke me up, when I opened my eyes he moved his wings and the wind took him away. Was he telling me goodbye?
Or was he telling me that I was free once again?

The date was May 20, 2008. As soon as I finished my last exam I was heading north to visit my little brother who I have not seen in a few months. Then a man of good heart offered me a ride, but not longer after I seated in his car colorful lights shined my eyes and a man with long boots and dark glasses approached me and claimed that I look suspicious. Unable to satisfy his demands to identify myself he took me away. A few days later I found myself in the court of law.

Respected jurymen, I already sense that this environment is foreign to me. Therefore, I will begin by apologizing for being stranger to the manner of speaking here, and also for addressing you in the kind of language that I am accustomed to use outside.

I was told that I have the right to pay for my defense, but at this age, I don’t feel the necessity to pay a man of law to help me tell the truth. The gentlemen who brought me here and who now sits to my right accused me the other day of not having the necessary documents to identify myself, and within seconds, I will say even before he stopped the car, he came to the conclusion that I must have broken the law, and entered the country using the southern border.

That I broke the law is something that I cannot readily conceive. I am a man who has neither wife not children, but when I saw the economic necessity of my mother, and when my legs were strong enough to carry my body away from the place were I was born, I followed the road that my eyes shined and I ended up coming here.

What I said is true, gentlemen. I did not break the law. I have tried to live a responsible life, and it is not the irresponsibility of having many children that forced me to leave my country, but rather the necessity to obey the natural law. When I saw my mother starving, when I saw little children working instead of going to school, when I saw pain in the face of my people, I asked myself if it is better to obey the laws of a country, or to obey the natural law and save the lives of those who suffer.

As it is evident, I believed and still do that the natural law is above the laws of a country, above the laws that are drafted by men. I think most people in this court of law will agree on that with me. But the gentleman to my right accused me of breaking the law, and not having the necessary documents to identify myself. I would certainly agree with him if I had forge documents in my packet. A man would have certainly broken the law if he uses a false identity, if he promotes corruption, and if he promotes a black market, but I have done nothing of the sort.

Gentlemen, the man to my right accuses me of braking the law, but I came here not because I was eager to be seen as a criminal, but because I thought I can help my family, so that way they don’t have to come and break the law as he accuses me. I came here to get education and then go back to educate my fellow men, so that way they don’t have to come here in mass numbers and brake the law as he accuses me. Gentlemen, is the man to my right accusing me of the modest contribution to society that I am willing to make? Is he telling me that the idea of helping others is wrong to have in one’s mind? Is he accusing me of saving my family?

Respected jurymen, I left my country because I wanted to avoid the accusation of breaking the law. The natural law that is; I feared that people in my country will accuse me of not saving my family. I feared that they will accuse me of not helping the young. I feared that they will accuse me of living a selfish life, but now the contrary of all this is the strongest argument that this man has against me.

Gentlemen, I am a stranger to this place, if my defense is not convincing it is not because I lack the desire to tell you the truth, but because my limited education does not allow me to formulate my defense in the language that you are accustomed. But believe me men of law, I have wasted no time, and during the years that I have been here, I have made an effort to follow your example, and I have tried to get a college degree.

Gentlemen, I am aware that with my broken English I cannot uproot from your minds the stereotypes about immigrants that have been in your heads for so long. I am aware that you must judge me according to the law. And I am aware that you must not give justice as a favor to whoever seems good to you. Condemn me. Deport me if you think that is the proper penalty that I deserve. I apologize if in my defense I have not included lamentations and tears. I apologize if my willingness to die for what I believe seems arrogant to you. Condemn me now. Send me back to the place where years ago I tried to escape poverty. I go as I came. Nothing has changed. My mind is telling me that I have rightly defended myself, and in my heart I feel sympathy now for the man who brought me here. Perhaps it is not him; perhaps it is the system that needs to be fixed. I leave you now and he can stay. Which of us gentlemen you think will have peace of mind?

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