I am afraid because I’ll be an immigrant father

I am not a father yet, at least it doesn’t feel like I am at this point. My wife is pregnant and on or about December 1st of this year we will have a son. He will be the son of a first generation Argentinian father and a second generation Chinese-Italian mother. Odds are he will look a bit more like my wife than me, because that’s just how genetics work. At any other time in this country’s history this would be unusual because of her mixed race and both of our exotic backgrounds. At some point in time our marriage would have been illegal and our child completely shun from society as an aberration but that is not our time and we are lucky for it.

I came into this country legally about 10 years ago and have sustained my legal status all through a few jobs, us meeting and marrying. I am unabashedly fortunate to have had access to resources — financial, emotional and legal — to support my status. I pay my taxes as early as I can, I’ve never had to dip into social security, unemployment, or any government service I wasn’t otherwise charged for like the DMV. My wife is an American citizen, she was born in Texas, raised in Wisconsin and has never really lived anywhere else but this country much to her chagrin. She loves pie and anything with butter in it, but has spent a better part of the last year educating herself on her extraction, her roots and the enduring journey her Asian heritage suffered through coming to this continent and country.

This is why to me what is happening is more distressing because I should mention I look like your average American, and although I’ve gained a few pounds over the last few months, I’m a 6 foot broad shouldered caucasian man. In an absolute poetic plot twist I’m genetically 97% European, according to my DNA, and 100% whiter than most people you know in every possible sense of the word yet, I’m still waking up scared.

I’m scared because even with the wealth of resources I have at my disposal, even with the support I’ve had throughout my life — an education, money and strong ties to this place — I’ve was still subject to secondary screening when getting back home from our honeymoon. I haven’t gone visit my extended family back in Argentina for a few years now out of fear I will not be let back in while my Green Card is in process. I find this an extraordinary situation. I find it ludicrous but I’ve learned such is the life of the immigrant to this country. You wait, you get your heart broken and sometimes unlucky in the process you try again — for some this is untenable but alas, I’ve been lucky.

I’m afraid because I was almost stuck in Finland because the airline wouldn’t let me board my flight out of confusion around my papers. I’m afraid my son will be taken away from me because to a large part of this country and to this administration, I’m only here visiting.

I haven’t been unable to react to what is happening at this point in time to immigrants in this country. Unable because it’s unconscionable that parents are separated from their children with little to go on, it’s unconscionable that anyone would claim law enforcement over humanity at no immediate danger to society or otherwise. It’s beyond comprehension and I refuse to think it could happen to me because we live in a far away state but I sense the fear creeping in. I fear it because I don’t know if a traffic stop will turn into something else anymore or if I should get on a plane and go anywhere — because I don’t know anymore how far we are from random searches in public transportation.

I’ll be brave for our son, I’ll teach him to care for others even if they don’t belong here because charity should have a deeper meaning to him than giving, because this place gave his father, and an infinite amount of immigrants, a chance to make something of themselves. Every day, it gives opportunities to people that contribute to society, who make our food, become police officers, teach our children, run businesses, pay taxes, run for office and have children who are compassionate and human. It’s the least I can do to bring any sort of meaning deriving from this time, where humanity has become rare and foreign alike.

Help if you can.



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