Plan Be

From traveling and having lived here and there, I have felt and witnessed the issue of migration and the diverse conditions suffered by migrants. People who leave their roots and venture, full of hope, to settle in other places, with other customs, sometimes very far from their families.

For many years I live outside of Mexico and yet I am 100% Mexican; every day and wherever you go. Outside of Mexico I made my family, with another 100% Mexican. As a result we have 100% Mexican children who have never lived in Mexico. But what defines us is the internal experience of the here and now, beyond the context.

I have always been involved with activism and in one way or another I have looked for ways to participate in the topic of "undocumented". However, I live comfortably from my life resolved. Not for that matter indifferent. Recently I had to experience my own story with the immigration police. In short, this will be discussed in detail later, what is relevant for now is the metaphor. I take this opportunity to share my respect and admiration for all those who challenge the immigration authorities again and again, for being treated as criminals, threatened and intimidated as a result of crossing without permission the imaginary lines that separate us.

In some way I have always felt rejected. Today I have clear and multiple evidence that this is not true, and yet I have it very present, as a kind of script that resonates in the echoes of my consciousness, looking for material from the past to justify and affect the present. This dynamic goes beyond the dysfunctional. I notice that I resort to this in case of need, for example, every time I have to justify the reason for something I do not understand or resist, the origin of feeling aggrieved and with the permission to neglect me, whatever I do with the ultimate goal to get me out of the play, kind of permanent sabotage.

I am not surprised that the issue of migration has come to me unexpectedly. It was an opportunity to analyze in depth everything that makes me feel welcome. In short, we continue with the physical reality, literal and with the metaphor. In a period of two months I went in and out of the first and second level migratory reviews, literally exhausted and scared, with anguish and especially sad about having been mistreated. Never welcome.

In traditional families there are ideas that are passed on to women. Especially in those that, as I have already told, have the father as the center of the family cosmos. One such idea is that there are things that only the head of the house can solve. If I, being a woman, determine myself as the head of the house, that leaves me with femininity, deprives me of the opportunity to be taken care of and protected by someone, breaks with my illusions that there is a wonderful man, a mixture of father and husband, that everything solve              

I refuse to replicate this family narrative. If you ask me, I answer: No, I do not want to live with a person of that nature. I do not need it. I am perfectly capable of taking charge of a home. However, these ideas that I inherited from my family are rooted in the depths of my unconscious, impel me to act in a certain way. That is why I have lived in the misunderstanding that there are things that I will not do because a man has to solve them.              

The problem is that I am not looking for a homelike Thor, I do not give entrance to any candidate, I have the facilities of my life and my home taken and I will not let them go. There are certain things that I have not solved because unconsciously I think a man should solve them.Without wanting to, I have let this family narrative prevent me from participating in my life, fully and consciously, so that some situations have become problems that I have not been able to solve. Sometimes things as simple as a broken device, change a focus, paint the room of one of my children, small things that we are accustomed to think that the head of the house solves.

I realized that even though I had not created that narrative, that family history, it was undoubtedly his heir. Maybe the thing would have gotten there, if it were not for human beings to promote or strengthen this kind of inheritance, otherwise how would they pass from one generation to another. I was allowing that story, of which I did not want to be a participant, to define to a large extent my behavior, my way of being in the world.

My inaction reached such a point that I neglected a fundamental aspect, my immigration status, which I was supposed to have had up to date, especially considering that I am a Mexican in the United States. My visa did not allow me to live permanently in American territory, so every so often I was forced to return to Mexico. With the new administration in the Trump government, my situation worsened. There was a time when I was practically stopped at the airport, in front of my children, when I arrived at the migration point, with Officer Flores. "Good thing, it's called me", I still thought, innocently. The first thing he said, in a very bad way, was that there was an irregularity in the status of my visa due to my entry and exit to the United States.

From the counter where they review the papers, they transferred us to the little room , to the office where they keep anyone who seems suspicious. That Flores stood in front of me, on the other side of the counter, and spoke to me with the most surly and aggressive tone possible. Never in my life has anyone treated me like this.

"These three American citizens are staying," he said, referring to my children. You are going back to your country.

-But my children ...

-Shut the fuck up! The migration officer snapped violently.

I was paralyzed by the reaction of that man. Right away, my son, Emilio, asked me if I was okay. My reaction immediately embarrassed me.

-Truly, shut the fuck up ... -I answered Emilio to shut him up.

I felt a terrible mother, for many reasons. On the one hand, I was not teaching my children to defend themselves against an injustice, because we have all of them to lose, and especially not to defend their mother, because due to my immigration situation I have a lot, a lot at stake. I thought it was a terrible circumstance for me, as a woman, as a mother, as a human being. What good is it to know that I can be a tough lioness, if at the moment I set foot in the immigration offices I become a wet cat.

I remember very well that I felt a wave of heat running through my body. I was not about to tell Officer Flores to go to hell with the immigration offices. What could they do to me? Take away my children? At that moment I thought about calling Emilio, my ex-husband, to come and pick them up. Right away I thought it was not about winning a battle over a matter of pride. I held back.

I realized that I had to generate a peaceful and cordial circumstance, to solve a problem within a human and generous frame of reference. Not to pay to this spirit so fractured and terrible that has caused the suffering and separation of so many migrant people. So many people who suffer atrocities, discrimination and violence without regard to their human dignity. What good was my outburst of anger against Flores (Flores!) If I was not going to solve anything anyway.

These ideas came to my mind while I was in front of the most arrogant person with whom I have met in life, who continued to speak to me with very little consideration, almost automatically, and, of course, in English. Finally she told me that she would be deported. He went to find his superior to resolve the matter. Meanwhile, I went back to my place and asked myself why this had happened? Why did I let an administrative issue put my family's stability at risk?

The idea that I was responsible, and consequently guilty, hit me like a stone. I had been acting as if that head of the family, that imaginary man imposed by my family narrative, was going to solve not only the question of my visa, but many other situations that I had let go. I did the recount of each and every one of them, until I could no longer with shame and courage; Suddenly a voice inside me, shot up and said: "You are fucked, mijita, you fucked up".

"Get ready to go back," said Officer Flores at that moment, as he finished talking to his superior.

My children were silent, as if an icy hand had touched their backs by surprise. I could not process what was happening, when Officer Flores' boss winked at me. Was he making fun of me? He waited for Flores to retire and motioned for me to come closer.

I was still disoriented when he told me:

-I have reviewed your case, ma'am, I can say that she is a good person, that's what you see. It is true that you need another visa. Tell me now how much time you need to process it.

There was a pause in which I digested what was happening.

-Month and a half…

"Perfect, month and a half." He handed me my documents and gave me another sign to get me out.

Quick, I told my children to leave. When we reached the street, I felt that something had changed inside me. I made a promise to be responsible for my human experience, my time and my place in this world, generously, without relying on any narrative outside my life, without waiting for that father, husband, boss family, that kind of Thor from home, had to come to solve my problems. I think that from that moment I learned to take my place in the Universe.

PlanBe, EnglishClaudia Flores