Disclaimer: The word “illegal” is denoted in quotation marks in solidarity with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists’ call to end media usage of the word as a noun or descriptor of undocumented immigrants.
Manuel Jesus Cordova Soberanes may not be known by his full name but identify him as the illegal immigrant who saved a boy in the Arizona desert and everyone knows who he is.
Today, Manuel was honored for his heroic act.
LatinaLista — Yet, it wasn’t the fact that he found the boy and stayed with him until help arrived that was so heroic.
Rather, it was that he willingly gave up his dream of finding a job in the United States to earn enough money for his own children so that he could stay so another child would not be alone, is what is heroic.
Now, U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz. wants to reward Manuel for his selfless act of kindness with a special visa that would allow him to come to work in the US.
But critics still can’t see past Manuel’s citizenship status.
The visa that U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva wants to award Manuel will take introducing special legislation to get it authorized. Rep. Grijalva’s aide, Ruben Reyes, admitted to reporters that such special requests hardly ever get passed but it’s worth trying for since it’s the best way they know how to show their thanks.
“We think he actually brings another tone into the discussion of immigration. Unfortunately the discussion of immigration is (mostly) negative but with his acts of heroism it counters so many of the other negative aspects,” Reyes said. “It brings a face of dignity, humanity and a bond that the two countries can share and he’s a shining example of that.”
There is no doubt Manuel is that and so much more when you compare him to the critics of illegal immigrants in this country whose rhetoric is violent and hate-filled.
Yet, if Rep. Grijalva really wanted to help Manuel, why not award the man enough money to help him do something constructive in his hometown so that he doesn’t have to leave his own children again?
Grijalva already knows the chances for a special visa are next to nil for passage. So, basically the Congressman is dangling another false hope in front of Manuel to give the appearance of helping him when in reality, he’s not.
And in the end, Manuel will still have disappointment and poverty — along with, a certificate of heroism.