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