Tenor of the Times: Talking with an Immigrant Family

I have a number of favorite breakfast places, and I popped into one on Friday morning. My regular server is a woman from El Salvador. We chat in Spanish, especially when the restaurant isn’t busy. She and her husband are legal immigrants, working here on green cards. They have two young daughters, dearly loved; all of the hard work that supports their family life is for the girls, so they have a better life.

Now, M. tells me, they are seriously thinking of returning to El Salvador. They are afraid for the girls, in this new American culture where disdain for immigrants is led by the Oval office.

I wish I could tell M. that she is wrong, that the basic decency of the American people will keep her girls safe. But I can’t, not with Trump in the White House, and Sessions at Justice, and the newly enabled alt-right, Trump’s “good people”, marching with semi-automatic weapons and tikki torches threatening the lives of Jews and blacks and everyone who is non-white. M.’s beautiful girls are Latina, and for Trump’s followers, no longer welcome here.

I am horrified at what the American story has become, but I can’t tell M. that she is wrong.

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