The Plight of the Immigrants

PhotographerGuillermo Lefranc
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

United States is a nation of immigrants. People from all over the world have come here fleeing from war, abuse, famine. In the news you hear all kind of stories about immigrants; some of success, others of tragedy. For many, the American Dream has become the American Nightmare. To embark in a journey of uncertainty requires all the strength, all the will power someone is capable of having. The last years have been very difficult for immigrants in the United States, especially immigrants from Mexico and Central America. They have become the target and the escape goat in this society.


Hunger Strike The cold penetrates my bones. I am hungry, I am sleepy. And here I am, in struggle. Asking to be heard. My face reflects the fatigue. The distress is big, but hope is bigger. And here I am, in struggle. Crying out for justice. I am one, and however, I represent many. The sacrifice is big, but the cause is worth it. I am afraid, I am scared, but I can no longer remain silent ... I Had a Life I had a life, I was free, I had a voice. Here I am nothing, if anything, a statistic, I have no identity. What am I? Who am I? I am a scream that fades out, a longing lost in the nothingness of indifference, I am a broken dream. They want my work, they want my money. But me, me they don’t want. I am the undesirable, the scapegoat. I am the pawn in a chess game. I have sweated blood, leaving my life in the fields, in the factories. I am the gardener, the cook, the housekeeper, the nanny. I live as a slave in the XXI century. What am I? Who am I? I am grandfather, father, mother, brother, son, friend. But above all, I am a human being that all that wants is to have his dignity back. One voice One voice United to many voices Crying out for the same thing One voice many yearnings Hopes, broken dreams One voice asking for justice asking for equality One voice United to many others Asking, pleading, crying out One voice Fighting for their own Asking for freedom One voice Will it be heard? One voice ... My voice Our Voice They call me DREAMER They call me DREAMER, Do they know anything about me?, about my dreams? How can they know? Have they perhaps walked in my shoes? They say they accept me, that I am not at fault. But they are not sure what to do with me. They want to see themselves magnanimous, and give me a temporary status. Great! Thank you! And now I wonder, What about the rest? Are not they human beings too? What about my father? What about his sacrifices? Having to hold three jobs at the same time, to be able to provide for us. Or with my mother? Having to settle for minimum wage jobs, although she performs them gratefully, joyfully and with love. What is wrong with this society? Why so much fear? So much intolerance? Would this be a game? A game of power, where the most vulnerable, the destitute, are the ones bearing the brunt? And, despite all this nonsense, they keep calling me... Dreamer. Poems by Teresa Lefranc