A few weeks ago, I started writing a children's book, this one, like most of my books, deals with immigrant issues, and I called it "Dos/Two". The story is about a couple who come to the United States illegally, their son Oscar, is born here, so he is a US citizen; the parents continue to be "illegal citizens". In my way of seeing, no human being is illegal. If we were to examine the history of this country, the only real natives would be the Native American Indians; that includes us, Indigenous people who come from different countries of America, the continent.
As a writer, I don't want to be close or near to the reality, I want to be right there in the core of these issues. I came to the United States the same way, years ago. I know the sadness that one has to endure when you leave your loves behind. This is true whether it is in our country of origin, or now-a-days here, as is happening with immigrants who are being separated from their sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, the whole family. What a painful and inhuman law.
My books have taken me to do presentations all over the United States. Everywhere I go, I find families in distress. Nothing, or very little has changed for immigrants. Sure there are some positive actions, more organizations work closely with these issues and are making very positive changes. Immigration also has changed to more sophisticated machines to detect people coming across the border. Also, in places like Texas there are patriot groups of US citizens that help to patrol the border.
Once, while working with a humanitarian organization, I met a young boy from Chiapas who had been lost in the desert for over four days. According to him, one of his friends died in the desert. This Indian boy reminded me of myself, he had bruises all over his body, his eyes were swollen, his headache would not go away, he was completely disoriented. He asked me, "Where do I find work? I need to start working right away to help my mother, father and little brothers in Chiapas." As you can imagine, I had no good news for him, the organization that I worked for offered shelter and food, but that was it. This boy didn't need a job, what he needed was professional help, to help him heal from his wounds, mental and physical.
My own brother told me that when he was coming to the United States for the first time, he came by himself; he left his beloved family somewhere in Mexico. He found a little brush that was bitten by his son, the memories of his baby boy made his heart sink in terrible sadness. He turned back, with the hope that maybe if he went back he would find a job, he didn't. He sold everything he owned and came back with his whole family. I find stories like this everywhere I go, but I also find wonderful stories of families who are prosperous and happy.
In "Dos/Two", my latest story, the mother of the boy has been arrested by immigration in a raid on her place of work. His father does not have papers either; the only one legal is the boy. I tried to find a good ending for the story, one that will bring hope to the boy, mother and father, but as I said, I like to keep myself as real as possible. The only hope I could bring to the story is the continuation of the struggle by both the parents and the organizations that keep on working for change with these ordeals.
Mainstream publishing companies like to publish Latino stories that have to do with cultural heritage and are fun and colorful. Right now, there is a huge market for bilingual books, from the commercial point of view it is good for these companies to publish work by Latino, Latina writers. My story now is in the hand of my agent. I truly hope that someone out there sees this book for what it is, a contemporary issue that deals with a cruel reality happening to children right now.
Causes Jorge Argueta Supports
Mother Earth Rights
Human Children Rights
Human Rights in General