My whole life I have been trying to understand the immigration crisis from Latin America to The United States. The origin, the end, and the journey. It was only in the last couple of years that I found out about the equally and, perhaps, more urgent crisis somewhere else in the world. A year ago, I watched a documentary about the ways in which African immigrants cross to Spanish soil and I was particularly amazed at those who decided to hide in cars in the risk of dying in the heat that was produced – somehow, probably due to the images from Syrian refugees, immigrants in overcrowded boats didn’t seem as disastrous. However, in comparison to my American-focused mindset, I had embarrassingly never considered the hearts and the thoughts of those people during the journey in Africa, nor had I given a thought to how the diversity in culture and language influence even the immigration culture that is found in that world I never knew existed.
In this post, I would like to focus on the sense of community that the immigrants have formed and how the article has led me to understand some more about immigration on our side of Earth:
“Each “brotherhood,” as they call them, is formed along lines of nationality — the Senegalese in one camp, the Malians, the Cote D’Ivoirians, the Nigerians, and the Congolese in others.”
In comparison to Latin Americans, African countries might not or barely share the same language. What does this mean? First that transitioning from country to country and being able to survive in them is probably one of the biggest challenges that immigrants fight during the journey to Morocco. Imagine, in the loneliness that these immigrants find themselves in, it is optimized by the lack of culture and language (the two elements that makes us the humans we are even at 12 years old). Therefore, it is expected that after reaching Morocco, the brotherhoods are brought together by their nationality. In a way, I am glad that it happens to be that way but, at the same time, it hurts to know that the divisions show that many countries are suffering push factors towards completely different societies.
In terms of American immigration, I remember finding out in the Stewart Detention Center (2h away from Atlanta) that they had detained African immigrants. I was told by an NGO that they come down in boats to Panama and then they would take the same journey as various Latinx individuals towards the US. So this article makes me wonder: are these people who might know about how hard it is to get into Spanish territory and, therefore, decide that it is ‘better’ to take the journey towards an almost equally impossible border? Is all of this the reason why they’d be willing to get further away from their cultures?
I am not sure but it could be a possibility. It would be something to find out through the stories of the African Immigrants in the US.