Monday, January 16, 2017

Death Over Deportation


-by Dorothy Reik

Adrian came to see me about two weeks ago. He was 39 years old but a life of physical labor outdoors made him look older. He came with our mutual friend, Carlos, who was also his employer, and with his beautiful son. Adrian had been a rancher in Mexico but he needed equipment to produce enough to get by, so like many he came to the U.S. to earn some money, planning to return to "my country" as soon as he had saved enough. But he married, had three citizen children and got a good job with my friend so dreams of "my country" started to fade.

You could see that Adrian had seen his share of manual labor. His hand, which shook mine firmly, was calloused. He wore the clothes of a man who works outdoors. He was short and compact. His fifteen year old son was already taller than he was. Adrian was smiling and his eyes looked directly into mine. His son looked at his dad with a son's love. It was a proud day and he was there to witness it.

His boss is a contractor and Adrian, after supervising so many projects for him, was going to do his own first deal. He had saved money and had his down payment and the repair money too. He had found a property to buy and rehab. My friend was happy and proud for his friend. His son was beaming. Adrian signed his papers with a firm hand. We were all so happy.

Then last Sunday a pain in his chest sent Adrian to his knees. His wife ran to the phone but he told her "No." It would pass. But it didn't pass. By 3AM Adrian was gone. He had insurance but he didn't have "papers." He and his wife knew they could face deportation if they called for help. So Adrian's heart attack killed him at age 39.

They didn't ask for his papers as they harvested his organs. He had checked that box on his driver's license. They didn't ask his wife for hers when they told her the body was missing many parts because Adrian was so young that all his organs, except his heart, were healthy. They would put marbles where is eyes had been, they said. And sew him up.

So now three children have no father and a stay-at-home mother has to figure out a way to support them. There is that down payment money for now. The sale had not yet closed.

Would Adrian have let his wife call for help if Hillary had won the election instead of Trump? Maybe.

Would they have called if Bernie had won? My friend and I said in unison "Abstolutely!"

RIP Adrian. Presente!



At 1:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am native-born American, and I have medical insurance. But the growing expense of my fees and co-pays has limited how much I can use those services. Things have literally become a Hobson's Choice for me in determining what care I will seek anymore. If I were to pursue all the services I "should", I'd have no money to survive upon, and those who I support would end up selling the only real asset I have -my house- in order to cover living expenses. This is, of course, a self-defeating option, With no input and all outgo, eventually there is nothing remaining.

Considering the behavior and attitude of Republicans against those who aren't of the 1%, I have believed since Reagan that the medical industry was doomed. I am part-owner of a supplemental staffing registry which barely survived the loss of 50% of our client hospitals due to closure. Those which remain don't call nearly as often. I see this as a general condition of the medical industry as a whole.

Some doctors do see the writing on the wall. Some are attempting to do what they can, maybe if only to rescue themselves from the massive student loans which they struggle to settle. The others no longer see patients without medical coverage, or without good medical insurance. They can't dodge the question forever, as the Republicans are after their remaining income streams, and those who can afford their services dwindle in number.

The "coverage" one of my sons has is a perfect case in point. They pay for a "hotline" staffed by nurses, and will pay for the more common generic prescription drugs. And nothing else. No doctors, no hospitalization.

I fear that my son will end up like Adrian. I fear I will end up like Adrian. I can't come up with a curse vile enough to condemn Republicans who are out to kill off the poor any way they can just so they can have a few more pieces of paper which claim to bear some intrinsic value. The closest I can come is that they discover that their Deity is a harsh and cruel toward them as they demand it be to those they disdain.

At 6:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If $hillbillary had won? no diff.
And even had Bernie won, still no diff. For any EVENTUAL improvement, Bernie would have had to win with an entirely new slate of anti-money party senators and congresspeople, which would not have happened.

And it being before the inauguration, obamanation's ICE still empowered, they WOULD face deportation, probably.

So they were, sadly, correct not to call and risk it no matter how the fraudulent election had gone.


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