The Renegade Rip

Perilous Journey

Victor Garcia

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The United States government needs to stop spending billions on wars that never needed to be fought and start giving more money to help impoverished countries.

Imagine how many people in the world can be helped by the $87 billion going to assist American troops in Iraq. That is the figure President Bush has requested and received for the Iraq war even though major combat has been declared over for months now.

There is something wrong with this picture.

While the United States declares war and spends billions of dollars that didn’t need to be spent, people are struggling just trying to immigrate here.

Don Bartletti, a Los Angeles Times photojournalist who spoke at the recent Journalism Association of Community Colleges Southern California Conference at CSU Fullerton, captured what people, namely children, in some of these impoverished countries, face just trying to make it here to America.

His photos show the pain and anguish people go through and yet still try to come here with such determination.

He and a reporter from The Times traced the path one 14-year-old named Enrique took from Tegucigalpa, Honduras to his mother, Lourdes, in North Carolina.

Bartletti said children face many obstacles such as criminals and police, who both want to rob them blind or send them back where they came from, just trying to get through Mexico from Honduras, Guatemala or other countries in Central America.

He also stated that children and families go to dumps that have a stench that would nauseate any American politician to find food before setting out on their journey.

The only pathway for the people to take is by getting on a freight train because they cannot afford to go any other way. Most of the time they are scared of either being killed, robbed or deported.

There is one city, though, in Mexico, where they do not have as great of fear. It is in Vera Cruz, where people have an enormous generosity. Bartletti said they are poor themselves and yet some of them give half of what they had to eat and drink to immigrants passing through.

If only the majority of people in America were so generous.

People in America take most things for granted such as the ability to have a good education; the ability to have a nice meal; and the ability to walk down the street without fear.

Some of these people say there should be stronger immigration controls but they are forgetting where they came from.

Everyone in America is here because someone in their distant family immigrated here at one time or another.

America would not be America without immigration.

People die everyday just trying to make it to America.

No human should have to suffer what immigrants go through just trying to have a better life.

The United States should either make it easier for immigrants to come here legally or give much more aid to the countries that need it and stop wasting money on its frivolous wars.

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Perilous Journey