Immigration's Children: "Cuatro de Mayo"


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For Americans given to catch phrases and celebrations, “Cuatro de Mayo” (pronounced ‘qua-troh-du-MA-yoh’) has a Latino flavor to it but does not include beer like its near namesake mainstream college drinking holiday “Cinco de Mayo”.

“Cuatro de Mayo” is not a date in the calendar; it is four Hispanic youth expecting to arrive in May after walking for four months from Miami to Washington DC.

The “Cuatro de Mayo” youth were brought to America during their childhood by their immigrant parents.  They all excelled in their High School and College studies but three of them are now unable to continue to study or work because they lack the necessary legal status.

The four hope to arrive in May to Washington DC to protest the lack of action on legislation granting legal status to undocumented immigrants.

They have a “deep desire and need for complete citizenship” and “are aware of the risk” of being arrested and deported during their daily 16-mile walk to Washington DC.

“We are risking our future because our present is unbearable,” stated Felipe Matos, 23, who was accepted by Duke University after training in college to become a teacher.  The situation currently is that Matos will not be able to make it to Duke, nor is he able to teach given his “illegal” immigration status.

The “Cuatro de Mayo” youth are deeply rooted in America even though born in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela; they were raised and educated as Americans thus their keen “desire and need for complete citizenship”.

As we approach mid-term elections this year, and while we still navigate the stagnate waters of our economy, politicians whether in Congress or at the White House have no desire to straightforwardly address America’s immigration crisis.

Immigrants subjected indefinitely to the twilight zone of non-citizenship helplessly contemplate the trampling of their basic human rights to family unity, fair wages and education.

It is no use to second guess ourselves by wondering if doing justice to hard-working immigrants is just a matter of timing and legal formulas.

Unless we see this abominable injustice for what it truly is, America will continue to profit, as it has for over a century, by purposely maintaining a twilight that perfectly ensures a class of modern day slave workers, underpaid and constantly humiliated.

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