Poem at Stockton Scholars Event

A young woman read a powerful poem at the Stockton Scholars launch event which I attended a couple of days ago in Stockton, CA.

Her poem was about her father, who was being deported. He had moved to the country, and lived there, now having to move four times — to the US, and out, and to the US and out again.

One of the things about the poem she wrote that really caught my attention was that the poem was both in English and Spanish. But she didn’t read a translation of one language in the other. The English and Spanish sentences blended together, one after the other. I did happen to know enough Spanish to understand it. I’ve never heard a poem like that.

I live in San Francisco, grew up in the Chicago area, but definitely my experience of the US is so different from hers and her fathers. It’s heartbreaking to see that this is the way the government and system operates for so many people — someone who lived most of their life in the US, whose kids are in the US, forced to leave.

I just want to recognize the really powerful poem she wrote, the very tough story that is happening for her and her family, and a hope that the actual stories can connect the very large numbers of people who real policy impacts. I would hope that the US could get a humane immigration policy that doesn’t mean separating children from their parents — it’s terrible.