(Op-Ed) Determined to assist victims caught in rushing floodwaters dumped in record-breaking deluge courtesy of Hurricane Harvey upon ill-prepared Houston, 31-year-old Texan, Alonso Guillen, took to a boat with other volunteers last Wednesday.
But the churning floodwaters and obstacle course both submerged and above the surface turned the search and rescue operation into one of its own — the small vessel capsized — sending Guillen and the others into the frothy, debris-laden soup.
It wasn’t until Wednesday that vigilant family members scouring the rapidly-moving surface spotted the good samaritan’s body drifting in Cypress Creek in Spring, Texas.
By any measure, Guillen is a hero: Were he not out amid the relentless storm — actively and selflessly assisting rescuers with thousands of stranded and desperate Houstonians — he would likely have escaped Harvey relatively unscathed.
Heartrending though Guillen’s mortal altruism plainly is, the manner of his death exemplifies everything astronomically successful about the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), or “Dreamer,” program; because, prior to becoming a resident of Lufkin, the Piedras Negras, Mexico, native came to the United States as a minor under its surrogacy.
DACA, being the selfsame über-successful immigrant program which President Donald Trump cowardly shirked responsibility for terminating by foisting upon the shoulders of his banefully-iniquitous messenger, Jeff Sessions, that task mere hours ago.
While a philosophical argument feasibly blasts the Trump administration’s impenitent axing of DACA anecdotally in this case, the injustice served to his mother as a consequence could be ripped from the playbooks of ruthless totalitarians of too-recent history.
Rita Ruiz de Guillen will not be permitted to enter the U.S. to attend her son, Alonso’s, funeral — despite the legal permanent resident status of the deceased hero’s father, Jose Guillen — who had, incidentally advised against the fateful rescue mission.
Despite, as well, Rita Ruiz has applied for legal permanent residency in the United States — meaning, the government already has possession of her application and all relevant information clearly informing she poses no national security threat in temporary entrance to bury her child.
Colin Kalmbacher poignantly pens for Law Newz, “She had hoped U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials would be understanding of the situation and issue a humanitarian visa so she could properly mourn, but her request was denied and the grieving 62-year-old was sent back to Mexico after reaching the U.S. border.”
Back in Piedras Negras, Alonso’s mother expressed unimaginable frustration at the inexcusable impasse at the border, in a phone interview with the Houston Chronicle.
Perhaps stoically propelled by grief and memories of Alonso, his distraught mother issued an unambiguous message to the Trump administration and the myriad supporters and writers of birdbrained governmental decision-making, telling the Chronicle,
“I’ve lost a great son, you have no idea. I’m asking God to give me strength. When we are with God, there are no borders. Man made borders on this earth.”
(Featured image: Alonso Guillen)