Building Bridges Not Walls

by Adrian Molina

Immigration is a frequent topic of conversation these days—perhaps so much so that I often tune it out. To then realize, hold your horses Adrian, you are one, you were there. You know better.

Very often we discuss topics and forget we are talking about people with hopes and dreams. Let's fight against poverty, but remember that poverty is made of poor people. Let's work on fixing the broken immigration system, but let's not forget that these are families with the same hopes and dreams as any of us.

I'm weary of the rhetoric that paints displaced immigrants as the immigration problem.

I recall a well-intentioned student who, at the end of a class, tried to be nice and warm by saying, "Oh, your English has improved; now I can actually understand you." It's amusing but also disheartening.

I recall the time while working on stretching a client with Fox News on the TV, the client and his wife started discussing immigration and how they should send everyone back to their countries, without even thinking that the same service they were receiving at that moment was from an immigrant.

I've been there. I am an immigrant. I've faced some of the same challenges that I see on TV now. I don't forget that the freedom I have now was a battle I fought for years.

I remember the early years when I was asked to clean toilets. Without hesitation, I grabbed a pair of gloves and cleaned the toilets. I know the feeling of not having enough money to buy something to eat. Poverty and Immigration are not distant cousins.

Aren’t we all immigrants? Aren’t all of us living in stolen or appropriated land? Aren’t all of us a mixed breed of people from different parts of the world?

"There is none so blind as those who will not see."

Why is it easier to put up a wall than extend a helping hand?

Hasn’t history shown us what works and what doesn’t over and over again?

As usual, I don't have a solution, a one-size-fits-all remedy. But I hope by sharing some of my experience, those immigrants who we all watch on TV become less of a caricature and more of a human being striving to live a better life.


Author

  • Adrian Molina

    Adrian Molina, a prominent figure in community organization and mental health advocacy, dedicates his life to fostering connections and effecting positive change, particularly among marginalized groups. With a background in social service, including work in homeless shelters and maximum security prisons, Adrian emphasizes the importance of mind-body practices in healthcare and law enforcement. As the founder of Warrior Flow, Adrian offers trauma-informed yoga education worldwide, targeting those in community outreach and the medical field. He's a passionate mental health advocate, volunteering with crisis hotlines, serving as an ambassador for NAMI, and training for various programs focused on suicide prevention and child abuse. Adrian is also working on a memoir exploring themes of mental health, resilience, and growth. Adrian's influence spans globally, inspiring hope and change in countless lives. Click link below to learn more about Adrian’s work.

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