The Widdershins

Posts Tagged ‘immigrants

 

Border Patrol agent pours out bottles of water left for immigrants trying to cross

 

Good day Widdershins!

MB is away for the rest of the week so I’m taking her Tuesday post, one day late.

With all of the news concerning tRump, Cohen, Flynn and the rest of the corrupt tRump tribe, it’s amazing this story has already fallen by the wayside. However, that’s the nature of the news cycle I suppose.

We already know the basics of the story.

Jakelin Caal Maquin and her father Nery Gilberto Caal Cuz were picked up in a group of over a hundred migrants in a portion of desert in New Mexico near a Port of Entry at Antelope Wells.

DHS *said* “Border Patrol agents screened the migrants to identify any health or safety concerns.”.  Snort!  I just really have to wonder about that statement.  I dunno.

“The initial screening revealed no evidence of health issues,” the DHS statement released Friday said. “During the screening, the father denied that either he or his daughter were ill.”

Authorities said the denial was recorded on a federal form signed by Caal, who speaks an indigenous dialect.(Bolding, italics mine)

“At this time, they were offered water and food and had access to restrooms,” DHS said.

So was there someone there with CPB that spoke this “indigenous dialect” to make sure the father understood?

Then they were prepared to be transported to a Border Patrol station near Lordsburg New Mexico. This was by bus and was done in two trips.  Jakelin and her father were in the second group to be transported.  When they arrived 90 minutes later at Lordsburg, the father told officials his daughter had stopped breathing.

Border Patrol emergency medical technicians began administering medical care and called an ambulance, according to DHS.

“At this point her temperature was 105.9 degrees,” the DHS said. “Agents providing medical care revived the child twice.”

I’m sorry but we’ve seen and heard too many things about DHS and CPB (Customs and Border Protection) so I take anything they say with one.big.grain.of.salt.

She was flown by helicopter to Providence Children’s Hospital, and Border Patrol took Caal there by vehicle, a drive of more than four hours.

DHS said Jakelin was first taken to the emergency room and then transferred to the pediatric intensive care unit. She died at 12:35 a.m. on Dec. 8.

The hospital said their initial impression was that Jakelin died of sepsis.  And as the article states:

Sepsis is the body’s extreme response to an existing infection somewhere in the body that can lead to rapid organ failure and death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Okay.  I’m not a doctor or nurse, nor do I play one on the teevee and I haven’t stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.  But I have to believe that she had to be showing some type of symptoms of this at the initial intake.  At the least it would seem her temp would have been elevated.  Perhaps our medical and scientific Widdershins can share their knowledge. And again, see my statement above about believing anything from DHS or CPB.

And for another kick in the pants, there’s this:

Congress told it can’t interview agents who detained 7-year-old migrant girl who died

 

Some members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus were going to tour the Lordsburg Border Patrol Station and wanted to speak to the agents involved in this.  DHS said nope, nahgonnahappen.

Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Tuesday are scheduled to tour the Lordsburg Border Patrol Station in New Mexico, where agents took Jakelin Caal Maquin and her father after they illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border. The members had requested a chance to speak directly with the Border Patrol agents who arrested, detained and transported the girl and her father before she was flown to a children’s hospital and died.

(snip)

“While DHS respects the oversight role of Congress, it is important to allow the review process occur unimpeded by politics,” spokeswoman Katie Waldman said in a statement. “It is important to preserve the legitimacy of a fair and impartial process out of respect to the agents’ lifesaving mission and the family of the deceased.”

Unimpeded by politics.  Yeah right!  Glad we’re gonna have a new Congress in January.

Open thread of course.

 

I stumbled across this interesting thread by a Korean American, and all I could think was, “No, not really, not my experience at all.”

T.K. of AAK! ‏ @AskAKorean May 11

As a formerly non-English speaking immigrant, here is a story I cherish.

It’s 1997. I just moved from Korea to Los Angeles area. I took regular English courses in Korea, and that was good enough to get me out of ESL classes and into the regular 10th grade classes.

It was my second day at the biology class. There was a quiz. My bio teacher, Ms. Gallagher, told me I didn’t have to worry about the quiz since I just got to the class, but gave me the quiz sheet anyway.

This is more than 20 years ago, but I still very clearly remember every detail of that quiz sheet. The quiz was about photosynthesis. It had a diagram of a leaf, and I was supposed to write what kind of gas comes to the leaf, what is expelled, etc.

I remember staring at it for about five minutes, slowly getting angry with frustration. I was mad because the quiz was easy. I learned about photosynthesis in Korea as a 7th grade. I knew all the answers. Just not in English.

The quiz was my new reality. I hope you all have a chance to experience this: the experience of suddenly becoming stupid, suddenly having all of your knowledge turning into dust, useless and inaccessible in a new environment with new language.

After five minutes, I just decided to write in the quiz in Korean. It didn’t matter that Ms. Gallagher told me the quiz wouldn’t count; I wasn’t going to turn in a blank quiz sheet. I just had to prove to myself that I didn’t suddenly become stupid.

Two days later, Ms. Gallagher handed out the graded quiz. Then she announced to the class: “[TK] has the highest grade. He had the perfect score.”

What – I looked at my quiz sheet. She graded my quiz in Korean, and gave me all the check marks.

I asked Ms. Gallagher (somehow) how she managed to grade my paper. Turned out Ms. Gallagher took my quiz to a Korean Am math teacher at my school. The math teacher’s Korean wasn’t great either, but she looked up the dictionary to help my bio teacher grade my quiz.

I get more emotional each time I think about this. Because the older I get, the more I realize what an extraordinary step Ms. Gallagher took for the sake of her student. She already told me the quiz wouldn’t count. She didn’t have to go through the trouble of grading my quiz.

But Ms. Gallagher graded my quiz. I truly believe that moment changed the trajectory of my immigrant life in the United States. Thanks to my teacher, I was able to prove to myself that I didn’t suddenly turn stupid. I just had to learn the new language.

So I did. I learned English, I studied hard, and graduated second of my class. My graduation speech was like a scene out of Napoleon Dynamite–it was so rambling and so terrible and so accented, my classmates were so confused. They were kind enough not to boo me off the stage.

I moved onto a good college, then a good law school. Now I’m a lawyer and writer who engages the world via my writing. I’ve had writing professors telling me they use my English writing as a model for their students. That blows my mind every time I hear it.

So. Every time a fuckshit like John Kelly talks about non-English speaking immigrants not assimilating to America, I think back to Ms. Gallagher. I remind myself that America has way more Ms. Gallaghers than John Kellys.

Remember: nearly all Americans came from somewhere else. More Americans are coming from abroad as we speak. So if you’re born and raised in America, I hope you would be kind and patient with the new arrivals. I hope you would be the Ms. Gallagher to someone else. /end

Now, when I say “not my experience” I don’t mean the part about kindly people helping me feel confident. There were enough of those, thank God, to keep me going.

What I mean is the part about suddenly feeling stupid. I learned English as a very small toddler, then a third language when I was about eight, another three as a young adult. I’m kind of absorbing bits of Spanish because of living in SoCal. And even when I landed in a foreign country going to school in a paramedical subject, I never actually had a feeling ignorance.

(But if you want to talk about learning calculus and that foreign language, God yes, deer in the headlights. Until I finally realized, years too late, that hey, that’s really just another language. I know how to do this.)

All this made me think that maybe the biggest benefit of bilingualism on the developing mind is that it makes ignorance feel familiar. It’s not frightening. You learn that all you need to do is learn your way out of it. Which is also the conclusion TK comes to: “I didn’t suddenly turn stupid. I just had to learn the new language.”

How do all of you feel about that? Is a background of getting plopped into new environments or new languages as a child helpful? Or maybe just isolating for some of us? How about learning to feel okay with ignorance? Which, I guess, phrased another way, is a question about whether learning is fun or whether it’s work.

Anyway. Have at it. It’s Saturday. We can do whatever we want!


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