Carlos Andrés Gómez – “12 Reasons to Abolish C.B.P & I.C.E”

Twelve Reasons to Abolish CBP and ICE. 1… When my father arrived in this country, the first words he learned in English were “Thank you” to the Latina
who sat beside him and summarized the teacher’s
rapid-fire speech. “Thank you” to the snickered whispers
he chose to ignore and the broad-jawed bruiser who pretended his Colombian immigrant
classmate did not exist. “Thank you” to the mentors who combed through
line after line of a language that felt to his tongue
like braille to my hands. “Thank you.” 2. A father of two delivers a pizza
to a military base in Brooklyn. The military police officer who ordered it demands the father’s
naturalization papers. When the deliveryman refuses,
the police officer calls ICE. Some soldiers at Fort Hamilton
ordered a pizza. It had pepperoni, green peppers, onions, I’m lying, who cares? It was a pizza that might cost
a father his family. The only tip the soldier gave
was a phone call that risked making
two little girls fatherless. 3. The first journalist
allowed to enter Casa Padre calls the detention center
an internment camp– nearly 1,500 undocumented children
locked up in an abandoned Walmart, having committed no crime
but crossing a border to survive. 3. The five-year-old boy
who shares my name, Carlos, taken from his mother in Missouri and put up for adoption
against her wishes, now renamed Jamison
by the couple who stole him. 3. The pregnant women detained by ICE, shackled around the stomach and denied
medical care while they miscarry. 4. The honors chemistry textbook
at my public high school was missing one-third of the elements
of the periodic table. My English teacher would return papers with red wine stains
and reeking of weed smoke. 60,000 bridges in our country
are architecturally deficient– is there nothing else
we can do with this money? 5. The former chief counsel of ICE who stole the identities
of immigrants seeking asylum, a man who forged documents
with the photograph of a murdered woman. 6. List of present-day U.S. states
that were part of Mexico before 1848: California, Nevada, Utah, most of Arizona,
close to half of New Mexico, a quarter of Colorado,
and part of Wyoming. 7. Piles of confiscated rosaries in Brownsville, Texas, like piles of wedding rings
and gold dental fillings at Buchenwald. I imagine them hovered over someday
by trauma tourists muttering, “Never Again”– again and again
and again and again. 8. The son of a Syrian refugee
invented your iPhone. A Soviet-born computer scientist
invented Google. Even a Canadian invented basketball. 9. Most terrorist attacks
in the United States over the past two decades have been carried out
by white American men. Most terrorist attacks
in the United States over the past 200 years have been carried out
by white American men. I have never seen a news headline
calling a white American man a terrorist. 10. Border Patrol agents
encounter a father, mother, and their three-year-old son from Honduras entering the U.S.
across the border with Texas. The family asks to apply for asylum. The CBP officers say
the family must be separated, physically restrain the father, tearing his three-year-old son
from his arms. They place the father
in a chain-link detention cell, then move him 40 miles away
to solitary confinement at Starr County Jail. At 9:50 a.m. the next morning, a guard finds the father
lying in his own blood, having strangled himself
with a piece of his clothing. The father’s name
was Marco Antonio Muñoz. The father was the same age I will be
when my son, Gabriel, is three. His name was Marco Antonio Muñoz. His death was not publicly disclosed. It did not appear
in any local news accounts. 11. José, the five-year-old carrying
a trash bag of dirty clothes and a stick figure drawing of his parents, taken from his family. 11a. The seven-year-old girl
in a pink bow and dress, left behind after her parents
were deported. 11b. Johan, the one-year-old, playing with a purple ball
and drinking from a bottle, appearing in court without his father. 11c. The three-year-old,
separated from her family, climbing on top of the desk
during her deportation trial. 11d. The infant from Honduras pulled from his mother’s
breast mid-feeding, separated from his mother. 11e. The special needs’ child,
separated from her mother. 11f. The deaf child
who is not able to speak, separated from his mother. 11g… 11h… 11i… 12… Upon whose bones do we stand? What will it take? (applause)

15 Replies to “Carlos Andrés Gómez – “12 Reasons to Abolish C.B.P & I.C.E”

  1. Thank you for your beautiful, heartbreaking poem! I am so bitterly angry at our government for their terrible cruelty to our precious immigrants! They may do this in my name, but not with my consent! And shame on the Americans who still stand by the resident of our White House! My wish would be for every American to stand up for what is right, and vote in 2020 against this cruel administration!

  2. i really love this. and i feel weird posting it b/c i know poetry needs specific syntax but “special needs child” is ableist. it’s not how ppl identify. the D/deaf community identifies as D/deaf. Kids with special needs is what is huge of an on the parent perspective, but I think most people would use people with disabilities, child with disabilities I know that is the much debated topic, but not everyone likes person first language. i use disable person myself. but this poem is about identity and claiming identity so I just wanna put it out there. I don’t want to hijack anything about this beautiful poem it is 100% true ICE and CBP need to go, But it is better and more powerful to reference a specific disability, to say “with developmental delay,” “autism,” “asthma,” add or make up the detail that makes a person

  3. I'll see you ICE, but the CBP is made up of the Customs and Border Patrol Officers, Border Patrol Agents (who have Hella dropped the ball by being racist fucks recently), people who inspect agriculture as it comes in and leaves the country and a Shit ton more. On a Good day, The regular CBPO make sure no one wanted by Either governments leaves or goes through a port of entry. On a Regular day BPA doing their job properly really do stop drugs from entering or Leaving the country. The CBP is in place not just on the Southern Border, but at all points of entry All Over the world, inspecting both people and goods. Of course I only know all of this because I am applying to be a CBPO.

  4. News flash people, America sucks. Like heyo I.C.E your ancestors were immigrants. Unless you are a true native, were all immigrants.

    This poem is amazing and eye opening. ❤

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