4 1/2 hours… 6 miles… 125 walkers… Day One…
As we gathered around the cross in the parking lot of a shopping center known for its day labor pools, all of us were silent as the voice over the cell phone told the 125 of us gathered there what our country’s policies did to her and her family. Linda loved living in Gainesville until her husband was deported after being arrested for fishing (not driving) without a license.
Yes, Jesus could walk all over Georgia and never get behind the wheel of a car, but give him two loaves and a fishing pole and even He could be deported.
Linda, a U.S. citizen, told us that she and her children were internally deported to Illinois. In fact, she wanted to drive the 14 hours it would take to be with us but Rafael, one of the Gainesville coordinators, convinced her that a phone greeting would make enough of an impact.
It had been six months since her husband was deported. He had found employment back in his native Mexico, but at 80 pesos a week (around $8) he was being further humiliated by his inability to provide for his family. So Linda and her children are now technically homeless, living with extended family without knowing what their long-term plans might be. She’s contacted an immigration attorney and is hoping against all odds that her family, now separated by politicians who claim to be the bastions of family values, will one day be able to live together in love and out of the shadows.
Below are some snapshot highlights of today’s leg of the pilgrimage: