Beyond the Headlines

Not surprisingly, there are a lot of news cameras down here. I’ve got really mixed feelings about them.

On the one hand, there are so many stories that need telling. On the other, the stories that make the news don’t reflect what’s happening on the ground.

Case in point: the General Mattis visit was a non-event. Very few people seemed to know or care. But if you saw the news, you would think it was show stopping.

Meanwhile, babies still needed shoes. Families still needed bus tickets. Lunch still needed serving.

It’s as if everyone is so busy attending to the needs of immigrant families and asylum-seekers that there’s no time to be bothered by the politicization of the crisis.

This afternoon, a woman from Columbia tapped me on the arm and told me in a whisper that her son wanted to know what my shirt said. Sitting next to her, a young boy with long hair and a hint of make-up smiled up at me.

I did my best to share my story in Spanish.

HER: “Por eso vinimos” (That’s why we came.)

The humanity on display everyday simultaneously breaks and fills the heart.

Fortunately, reinforcements have arrived in the form of my good friend Andrea Schiller. She was whiz at the bus station and I can’t wait to visit Brownsville together.

Later we met a woman who fled Honduras with her infant daughter. Her husband had joined the cartel and had been violent with her, and she was worried for their safety.

While hitchhiking through Mexico, their driver got a flat on the freeway and the vehicle rolled several times. They didn’t wait for medical attention and continued on foot.

They left Honduras in September. They just arrived.

So many of these stories need telling.