Sacrificing Their Lives to Work

At 17 he went to look for another future. He left his friends from the Instituto Nuevo Amanecer, where he was a junior, behind in Honduras. He left his passion for soccer, the evangelical church where he used to sing, his siblings—Wilfredo, 25, and Iris, 19—and he left Juana, his mother. He took with him the 1,000 Honduran Lempiras that he had saved to make the monthly payment on the piece of land and left with his cousin José Giovanni Gonzalez, who was 22 years old.

Yesterday, to commemorate Labor Day, The New York Review of Books translated five of the stories of 72 migrant workers who were killed last August as they attempted to cross the border into the United States.

Author: David Swanson

Pastor of New Community Covenant Church in Bronzeville. Collecting signs of life.

2 thoughts on “Sacrificing Their Lives to Work”

  1. What is it that bates these sincere people to put their lives on the line to come here to work instead of working in their own country? They are bated by stories of many who have come,escaped death, and make a lot of money illegally and get away with it as many are here to support them in their illegal venture and deny that it causes many severe problems.

    I don’t believe that all of these were all workers.
    I don’t believe that all of these were migrants – they would some day return to their home.
    Some were and some were not. All were seeking to break the law in many ways.

    When one group seeks to make money while breaking laws, other law-breaking groups will join in on the take to try and take a percentage. It is part of the reality of law breaking to make money.

    Am I wrong about this?

  2. Tim, I’m not sure folks are baited as much as they are compelled or driven. These stories capture some of the desperation faced by migrant workers in their hometowns. Of course, the possibility that they could find work in America is evidence of the economy I benefit from that is, in many cases, supported by undocumented laborers.

    I imagine that if I were in their position I too would break the law in order to provide for myself and my family.

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