My name is Sandra Lopez, the person who took sanctuary in Carbondale for 10 months. Thank you very much to my community, and to the Two Rivers Unitarian Universalist congregation. Thanks to all of you, I kept my family together and was protected from deportation.
I also thank The Sopris Sun for this opportunity to express myself as a human being.
With simple sincerity, I write to you with a deeply broken heart, because my humanity has again been denied. My father died on Jan. 2, 2019, at 6:42 p.m. My mother died on Feb. 26, 2014, at 6 a.m.
I know exactly when they died because I could not be there. I don’t have legal status in the U.S., so I could not travel to see my parents before they died. I cannot mourn and grieve with my family when my father is buried because they are in Mexico. The immigration system criminalizes 11 million immigrants, when supposedly we are in a country full of democracy. I am talking about a broken, cruel and inhumane system.
How unfair that I had to settle for a simple phone call to say farewell to my parents, with tears in my eyes unable to give them one last embrace; the impotence of asking their forgiveness over the phone. But the love and understanding of parents is priceless. My parents understood that this cruelty happened because of the selfish and unjust laws of man.
This most basic right — to be with our loved ones when they die — was taken from me. Mom and Dad, I did not have the opportunity to say goodbye to you and hold you. What the destructive power of man does not realize is that love will never be stopped by borders, nor walls. One day I will be with you, and you will rejoice with me. We will be together in a beautiful place full of magic, with vibrant colors and landscapes, where my eyes will admire the harmony of everything that surrounds us, where we will only hear the sweet song of the birds and where there is only peace, justice, freedom and love.
I conclude with this verse: (Luke 9:25) “What will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, yet loses and forfeits his very self?”