A Clear Example of Why Change is Needed NOW!

Late last night as I was driving, I saw a lady walking towards downtown Reading with two children. One, the smaller child, she held with one hand while holding her purse in the other. The second child followed behind. I watched as the small child escaped his mothers’ grip and almost ran into the street. I also watched how quickly and almost reflexively the mother pulled the child back onto the pavement grabbing him by his scarf. Just as my light was changing green I noticed that the other child was following at a distance behind her. The child was carrying something that seemed too heavy and oddly shaped for him or her to hold. I couldn’t tell if the child was a little girl or a little boy they were both bundled up for the winter cold. They had their hats, their gloves, their scarves and boots. But the child behind was struggling and almost falling forward with that big and heavy load she was carrying. I went around the block (most streets are one ways in this town) and stopped in front of her and asked her where she was going. I told her, “come, I will give you a ride.” I asked what her child was carrying and where she was headed at that time and in the cold.

Monica and her two children were returning to the community clinic after noticing they were missing a prescription. On their way back to the clinic, they came across a box of old leftover pizza that had been put out by a local pizza shop. That was what her small daughter was carrying. During the short car ride to the clinic and back to her home we spoke about the cold, the city and the rodents. We spoke about her husband that had been deported last year. We spoke about her forced and unexpected role as a single head of household and about how much she needed to find a job that paid well so that she could move her kids out of Spring Garden Street (Spring Garden street is infested with rodents because of all the abandoned houses in that block.) As she opened to the door to let her kids out of my car she said, “If my husband were here we wouldn’t be struggling as much.”

The immigration crisis affects everyone especially the most vulnerable. Too many kids are left out cold and shouldering a load too heavy to carry. Too many families are being separated and too many dreams shattered. We need to refocus and launch ourselves completely into this cause. We need to do something now about immigration reform in this country. The time is now!

-Janice Paulino

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