LatinaLista — By the time a reader brought the story of Jesus Manuel Cordova, a Mexican national who was crossing the Arizona border illegally and found and cared for a 9-year-old boy involved in a car accident that killed his mother on Thanksgiving Day, to my attention, there had already been over 250 news outlets from around the world that had picked up the miraculous report.
It’s a story that exemplifies the most basic reason for why life exists on earth â€” to be there for one another, citizenship status notwithstanding.
That it happened on Thanksgiving Day means that there is a greater message in this simple act of kindness.
According to the news reports, a 45-year-old mother decided she and her 9-year-old son would spend Thanksgiving camping in some remote campground in southern Arizona, just a few miles north of the Arizona-Mexican border. It would just be the two of them spending time with one another and probably still mourning the loss of the husband/father who died only two months ago.
Forest officials report that the woman was driving along a remote stretch of a U.S. Forest Service road when she lost control of her van on a curve and ended up flying over the edge of the road landing 300 feet in a canyon.
The mother was pinned inside the van. The boy was a little disoriented, as to be expected, but had enough of his wits about him to know that he had to find help. Two hours later, in a part of Arizona that is naturally visited by few people, and even more so on a holiday like Thanksgiving, the boy was found by 26-year-old Jesus Manuel Cordova.
Jesus was coming to find the American Dream â€” he ended up being a dream come true for one little 9-year-old boy.
Officials don’t know if Jesus spoke English or the boy was able to speak Spanish but it was clear the two communicated. The boy reported that Jesus went back to the van to try and rescue the mother but couldn’t get her out and so stayed with the boy trying to comfort him until help arrived on Friday morning â€” too late to save his mother.
As temperatures dropped during the night, Jesus built a fire and gave the boy his jacket. Hunters found them about 8 a.m. on Friday. Officials careflighted the boy to a medical center in Tucson while border officials began deportation proceedings against Jesus.
Sheriff Tony Estrada said that Jesus saved the boy’s life.
If Jesus was the criminal alien that politicians and pundits like to paint all undocumented aliens as being, then he would have left that little boy in the desert, but he didn’t.
At great risk of being caught and sent back, Jesus made the moral decision to stay and comfort a stranger who needed him.
As Sheriff Estrada said, “They (undocumented immigrants) do get demonized for a lot of reasons, and they do a lot of good. Obviously, this is one example of what an individual can do.”
Yet, the comments left at one news site by American readers underscore how deep, for lack of a better word, the hatred runs for anyone who is deemed an undocumented immigrant from Mexico and beyond.
Readers were quick to point out that this one act of kindness doesn’t erase the “burglaries, drug dealings and shootings” of other undocumented immigrants. Yet, what these readers fail to acknowledge is that those people who do those things are true criminals.
Just as much as all the white, African American and Asian American people who commit the same type of offenses.
Walking across an imaginary line in the sand, whether fortified by a fence or not, doesn’t make a person a criminal, but rather criminalizes a person.
The fact remains that without Jesus crossing the border at that particular time, the 9-year-old may have suffered through the death of his mother all alone.
We can’t help but think that there was a greater message in this one act of kindness on a day set aside to give thanks for what we receive in life.
The only problem is that too many people will choose to not see beyond Jesus’ illegal crossing.
Yet, there is one 9-year-old boy who probably feels his father must have sent him Jesus to keep him safe until help arrived.
It’s one story that no doubt will live on forever.