It 3 in the morning and my alarm goes off. I got to get up and get ready for work, I take slow steps to the restroom to wash my face and brush my teeth. I pass by my daughter’s room and I see her sleep. I don’t need to walk pass my older daughter’s room to see if she is asleep, her loud snoring is enough proof. I get my lunch and my coffee and make my way out of the house. I do a 45-minute drive Monday through Saturday to my job, I’ve witnessed many car accidents and I thank god every day that no one has witnessed me get into one. I make my way to my station and prepare the knives that are going to help me for the next 10 hours cutting meat for different fast food companies. Every day is the same routine for me, nothing has changed much I wake up, go to work, come home, and do it all over again. As much as I do not like it, I do not complain because I need the money since I have a family to take care of. Also, I enjoy what I do, even though my job is not the best, I’ve met amazing people who understand my struggles and I’ve also met the love of my life here. I wouldn’t change my job if I had the option too.
Everyone gets their food ready for lunchtime, some are buying, and others bring his or her lunch bags. Our conversations get interrupted by the supervisor “todos afuera por favor” I look at him and his face showed fear, something was not right. Someone must have gotten hurt and is probably suing the company, I might lose my job. I tell my boyfriend what I think is going on and he tells me to relax but I couldn’t something kept telling me that something bad was coming. The supervisor leads us outside of the company which was out of the ordinary so now I really did not know what was going on. When I saw the vans outside my heart dropped. “La Migra” one of my coworkers’ whisper, the supervisor begins to explain how they have been going around town and we were one of the spots that got picked and there is nothing he can do. They begin to ask for ID or drivers license and to have them ready. I couldn’t breathe, what was I going to do? How am I going to tell my kids I won’t be coming home? I look at the officers and I make eye contact with one and my heart beats fast, I know this person. He used to be friends with one of my sons when he was in high school, I remember him coming over all the time having lunch with us, he was a good kid. He sees me and walks up to me “mam can I see you ID?” my hands are shaking and my mouth is dry, all I want is to hug my kids one more time. They lost their father and now they are about to lose me too. He repeats himself and I look at him and shrug my shoulders. He yanks my wallet from my hand and begins to look through it. I’m done, he’s going to send me away from my family. He takes out a fake ID I have, and he says “you good, go home now” I look at him confused and he put everything back in my wallet and hands it to me. I look at him and he stares at me too, he may be grown but I still see this 16-year-old boy who would eat my beans and rice 5 days out of the week. He shrugs his shoulders and pushes me to the section with the rest that is good. Our supervisor tells us to go home, I grab my belongings and walk to my car.
I sit in my car, I can feel the tears rolled down my cheeks and can’t help but to think how lucky I am to be me right now. I get to go home to my family and still see the love of my life tomorrow. I get to wake up at 3 in the morning and drive 45 minutes every day to work. I look up and I see some of my coworkers being walked to the vans and I can’t help but to feel guilty. These workers won’t be able to explain why they are not coming home. They will not be able to with their families nor work at this slaughterhouse. I have a knot in my stomach knowing that I’m supposed to be there with them, not inside my car ready to go home but because of luck, I get to sit in my car and watch these innocent people be taken away to a country they don’t know as much as they do know here. I drive away and think about all the hard work those people did just to be here and it all being a waste. I walk into my house and I hug my kids and think about how those parents won’t be able to do what I’m doing right now, a knot forms again in my stomach. I’m just as an illegal as they are, I’m not any better, I just got lucky. I don’t feel lucky, I feel the total opposite, knowing these people are ruined because of where they are from. Little did these people know their day was going to end this way, mine should have ended the same way. I get ready to shower and just think if they are ok. Are they feed? Do they have enough water? I see in the news all the time how bad immigration treats these people and it breaks me. I look at myself in the mirror thinking about how I should not be here right now. I lay in bed and pray, thanking God for his mysterious ways and that those people are well taken care of. I think of my son’s old friend and wonder why he did it, I feel bad that I couldn’t even say thank you for letting me go. I still feel guilty and I don’t know why. I should be happy and blessed that I’m laying down in my cozy bed, but how am I supposed to feel that knowing that others are not in their homes with their families? I take a deep breath and just try my best to let it go and try to sleep. I can feel myself dozing off.
Ring! ring! ring! Its 3 in the morning and my alarm goes off.