Final Thoughts: Charlie

I joined Las Fronteras to learn about what was really going on at the border.  On the trip, I met many people who told me stories of what goes on in their home countries and the racism and challenges they've faced in their travels.   One of these stories is that of Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez. 

Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez was a teenager from Nogales, Sonora who was shot and killed by a Border Patrol Agent after throwing a few rocks at the agent.  The Agent was found not guilty in all charges and video of the event strangely disappeared.  This hit really close to home because from when I was born until I was 10 years old I lived about 15 minutes away from Ferguson, Missouri.  A few months after I moved, a young black man, Michael Brown, was shot and killed by a police officer for virtually no reason.  The officer was found not guilty in this situation as well.  I know how something like this shakes a community to its core.  At least Michael Brown's death was controversial and people were talking about it, whereas I had never heard of Jose before the trip. 

These stories are so important to share because people need to know how immigrants are real people, just like you and me.  They aren't evil, they don't want to take over our economy, they just want a better life.  They deserve happiness just as much as us.  It's not ok how they are treated and people need to realize how racist our systems are, and sharing these stories can make people realize how bad this issue is and then we can make some much needed change to this world.

-Charlie, St. Paul’s, Newburyport