Tell me if this makes any sense to you. A dad from Mexico successfully petitioned U.S. Customs and Border Protection to reverse their plan to bar him from entering the country to attend the funeral of his 10-year-old son. That's right. At first the US government was going to keep a father from saying goodbye to his little boy who died in a house fire.
What ... jerks! I know immigration is a hot button issue in America, but it's stories like Fidelmar "Fidel" Merlos-Lopez' ordeal that make me wonder if we're losing more of our humanity with every bit of red tape the government throws over our borders.
Let's talk about facts for a second. Damien Lopez was just 10 years old and living in Pennsylvania -- legally I might add, with an American citizen for a mom. His dad was an undocumented immigrant in the US at one point, who came to this country as a teenager. But Fidel left the country voluntarily and has been working to return legally to join his American citizen wife. Hey, kudos to him for trying to do the right thing, right?
But while he's been out of the country, tragedy struck. A fire killed the boy as well as a cousin, aunt, and 7-month-old half-brother. Now, when I hear a child died, my first thoughts go to the parents. I'd say that's because I am a parent, but fact is, it's always been that way. Kids are not supposed to die, m'kay? It's against the natural order. I can't help thinking about this Fidel Lopez. He's already thousands of miles away from his child. He's already been denied the chance to say goodbye in life.
And then some paper-pushing rulebook-following butthead had the audacity to try to tell him he couldn't say goodbye in death either? What kind of human being does that? This is what comes of taking an issue -- in this case immigration -- and bogging it down in so much legalese that we lose the ability to treat human beings with humanity.
I know. It's over. They let him in. Halle-friggin-lujah!
But people, why the heck didn't they just do that in the first place? Why did he have to put up a fight to be greeted with a little human compassion? I feel like we hear these inhumane stories all the time -- like the little girl who was being denied the chance to enter the country to donate bone marrow to a 5-year-old relative who was going to die without it. You don't have to break rules in order to make people's live easier. You just have to follow them judiciously.
If you were in the department of homeland security, what would you have done when you saw the Lopez case come across your desk?
Image via HeyRocker/Flickr