My great-grandmother saw 4 sons leave their home for faraway lands never to return. The family would say no one knows what became of them. Well, I know some of what became of them. My grandfather and his brother emigrated to the US and settled in California. The two oldest sons emigrated to Australia. I have been able to piece together the outline of the lives of my grandfather and his brother. The brothers who emigrated to Australia may exist in a collection of government records, but so far I am unable to find them. The oldest went first then sent money for his younger brother to come by ship with a younger sister. In the New South Wales, Australia, Assisted Immigrant passenger list of the ship it says that Thomas was 28 years old, his mother Rachel in Tipperary, and he was going to his older brother Pat in Sydney. The New South Wales, Australia, Immigration Deposit Journal states that Patrick paid toward the passage of Thomas, 25 years old,a laborer, and Catherine, 23 years old, a domestic servant. Their prior address listed in the journal as c/o my great-grandfather in Tipperary, Ireland. I hope I can find what happened to them but I may never know.
The story of immigrants is repeated over and over. People traveling away from home looking for a better life. They leave behind part of themselves and families sometimes wondering what became of them. Immigration is a major topic in the United States once again. There must be better solutions for assisting immigrants and working to improve conditions in their home countries so they are not forced to flee.
I found an article by Marisa Peñaloza of NPR ‘A Guatemalan Village Tells The Story Of Immigration To The US’ which describes a family’s situation and what motivated a man to try to get to the US. There are many organizations in this country and international that are working to help immigrants. I just picked one, KIND, but I leave it up to you to decide which organizations to support. KIND works to provide legal representation for children appearing in court alone, children who have entered the US alone.
Another perspective in this article, ‘The Case for Getting Rid of Borders–Completely.’
Featured image Image of Solidarity March for Immigrants and Refugees by Fibonacci Blue on Flickr. We Are The World blogfest, #WATWB cohosts for this month are: Eric Lahti , Inderpreet Uppal, Shilpa Garg, Peter Nena, Damyanti Biswas.