Exiled, Picking-eggs for $2 a Day


Writing Notes:
*Twenty-five years ago, I was a migrant education teacher in Hunstville, Arkansas where corporations, such as Tyson and Swift, actively recruited across the United States borders and provided free transportation to immigrant families from Mexico with promises of jobs, housing, education, and medical care!
President Obama
makes a rose garden announcement
800,000 immigrants under 30
“You can stay”
“It’s the right thing to do”
temporary work permits
a reprieve
a temporary fix
really, you won’t be deported
. . . . or driven out . . . .
we raised you
we worked your parents
pickin’ eggs for $2 dollars a day
hauled in by company greyhounds
recruited and brought to the USA
by good ole’ American companies
giant bill-boards placed over the border
you signed up for the great American Promise
— for a better life —
After WWII Congress passed a bill
placing immigration rules on hold
that allowed companies to hire
immigrants to work our fields
follow the harvests
and work in our meat-processing plants
not enough American workers
who want to do that crap
we must fill the gap — these unwanted jobs
you were invisible
hidden and
brought here to our streets
people talked
but you didn’t speak
trying to make sense of it
with no questions asked
just wondering whether
they could send you back
and close the door
— underage — no problem
the whole family worked
even small children
what a bargain
a modern day caste play
— slavery — newly recreated
educated by federal dollars
flowing into town
spent locally on anything but migrant kids —
new rules aim the mark
but if migrants missed 10 days or more
they would be dropped from the rolls
exiled — to the farm
abandoned — to work
no need to graduate
you were needed for work
instead of learning
housed you in the fields
in abandoned shanty houses
no running water and a mud floor
up on the mountain tops
–where no one would ever see–
we educated you and fed you
let you be our football stars
and shoot our hoops
played with our children if only in school
joined our armies and fought our wars
heroes came home and some not
dated your kind and married
worked our labored fields
and built our houses
— everything was fine —
until you left high school
now it ain’t’ —
nothing works
can’t get a decent job
or even apply
no social security number
no driver’s license
you are an illegal, no papers
can’t even enroll in school
thought you were an American
— but no, not —
didn’t even know
some parents became American citizens
— you’re not — cause you were underage
with  no way out
a child when you came
to work the fields
with your mother and father
chasing the American Dream
kicked along the roadside
exiled and feeling the pain
the American dreamers
held hostage by an unpassed Immigration Act
banished from participation
deported to the fence
marooned to the streets
found living
between coming and going
— in no man’s land —
living in the shadows
spoken of no more
forgotten by choice
can’t even describe the scene
— left undone —
banned, “I can’t come around no more”
“working for the man”
at a low paying wage
no protection under the law
–because you’re an exception–
stuck — unwanted —
by the very country who let you stay
to pick their chickens and fields of hay

12 thoughts on “Exiled, Picking-eggs for $2 a Day”

  1. Its disgusting and the same all over the world has been since humans could also find a way to move across the seas and air exploiting the vulnerable the misery of peoples ignorance poverty & so on. What did everyone think because Obama is black that he would be honest sensitive show empathy compassion etc where the white man didn't same here in Australia and suddenly a whole lotta woman going on with Ms Julia Gillard being the first Aussie Priime Minister when she got her stage you couldn't say a thing against her and not get pointed finger and grumbled at esp by woman What they thought a woman would be decent honest empathetic compassionate lol blah blah blah but you know what I think US the People who allow this to happen to. We never say or do enough to show the so called caretakers of the world we are Not Happy with the decisions they make at times especially when it is affecting human life. be it immigrants health education .. what ever We are the ones who need to speak out more so than how we are I think we need to show action as well as words we are so clogged by the fear of our systems to speaking out most of us stay in doors with Our Doors locked whilst the uni students & a few other brave hearts get out there on the pavements of life and make a noise. We are not community spirited we are a selfish society I think so and the so call community spirited ones are usually a part of some kind of organisation eg like religions etc that only allow another to be part of their community IF and ONLY you join their beliefs .. that is not community or caring nor is religions on a whole but where are the christians who live by Christ Word when such things happen to human beings .. I dont see or hear any of them the Big Gun Religions Evangelist etc stoping their monies to Governments of their choice to help Humanity as they all bloody speak so dishonestly about as well as many other religions and organisations of so called care ..Yes its horrible terrible etc but I bet no one is willing to actually put themselves out there open their doors to these human beings give them a roof over their heads food and shelter and tell the Government to Sod off and leave them alone and that they are willing to do what ever it takes to make sure that people like these above that you speak of are not abused and given the same rights and respect that all human beings have a Right to not a Privilege to a Right to as a Human beings Safety Care Food Shelter Work Money Choice Freedom Education Health Care and so on Immigrant Refugee or Not.


  2. It's a harsh reality that speak of, Joan… and a fair solution does not seem to be looming on the horizon, anytime soon. Heartbreaking to think how many human lives are devalued. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on a subject that deserves consideration from all of us.


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