LatinaLista — As the new legislative season gets underway in the Capitol and across the nation, there are state legislators and city politicians who still insist on demoralizing, intimidating and targeting Spanish-speaking immigrants, both legal and undocumented, with legislation that is racist in nature.
As Latina Lista noted yesterday, Senate congressmen still have not decided to add coverage of legal immigrant children in its version of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program â€” despite the news that the House of Representatives passed its version of the bill today which included the option for states to provide coverage for these same children.
Abraham Rodriguez, 39, weeps as he talks about a vision of the Virgin Mary he says appeared to him. More than 150 people gathered Saturday at the altar he created inside Plaza San Miguel flea market. (Source: Photo Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman)
From Texas, where a dozen anti-immigration bills are waiting to be debated in the state legislature in Austin to Arkansas where legislators will decide on the fate of allowing undocumented students from receiving in-state tuition to the city of Nashville where there is a campaign to make English the only language, immigrants continue to be under siege.
Time will tell just how committed the Obama administration is towards changing the national dialogue when it comes to immigration but if a recent holy vision in Oklahoma City is any indication patience may be waning.
At an old mega-store complex turned flea market in Oklahoma City, painter Abraham Rodriguez was going about his business when he said he saw something unusual.
Rodriguez, who was working at the Plaza San Miguel flea market reports that on the day before the feast day honoring the patron saint of Mexico, he saw a silhouette of the Virgin and heard a woman’s voice. She said to him that everyone should put aside their cultural and ethnic differences and strive to be united.
She then asked Rodriguez to set up an altar in her honor in the store so that people can come and pray. She told him that she chose that spot because it sits on a hill and is at the heart of the city.
Rodriguez did what he was told and by eyewitness accounts profoundly believes what he saw. (As a side note, my own mother visited Rodriguez and spoke to him and vouches for his sincerity.)
Skeptics will say that Rodriguez’ vision may be stress induced. After all, he lives in one of the most punitive states that actively hunts undocumented immigrants. Or, he could have been sorely missing his wife and children who are back home in Mexico, and since December is a particularly hard month for most Latinos, as it is the time of year when families get together to celebrate several important events back-to-back, he could have been depressed about not being with his own family. Or maybe the Virgin of Guadalupe was just on his mind since her feast day was the next day.
Though all these seem like rational explanations, it doesn’t erase the fact that Rodriguez believes so profoundly in what he saw that it moves him to tears to think about it and the message she gave him.
That the Virgin of Guadalupe would appear to a poor painter in an Oklahoma City flea market underscores the needless suffering being experienced by undocumented immigrants in this nation. To say that they can relieve their own suffering by returning home reveals the lack of understanding and empathy for what the vast majority of these people will return to where their presence won’t make their suffering any less.
In two other famous vision sightings, Fatima and Lourdes, the Virgin Mary created a visible sign to prove to unbelievers that she was there and to take her message from her chosen messengers seriously.
If this vision is to be believed to be a sign from her, it can only mean that limitations exist everywhere to just how far human hate and persecution will be tolerated.