Phyllis Smith

Phyllis Smith

Lake Havasu City, AZ

I grew up in Phoenix, South Phoenix to be exact, and all of my life I have lived in a diverse culture. In fact if I hadn’t had the exposure to Native American and Mexican cultures as a youngster, I wouldn’t have had any history to draw from as we moved to Arizona from the Eastern Shore when I was just a toddler. I knew nothing of my family history until I was in my twenties. Coincidently, many of my childhood friends had a similar experience except they came from south of the border as toddlers and young children when their folks brought them here as well. In my teen and young adult years it seems that there was never much of an issue about migrant workers and immigrants coming into Arizona and California to work, either seasonally or becoming naturalized in order to establish full residency. I am not sure where the U.S. has fallen short on our immigration policies and the offer to help sustain people that are here to do hard work or sustain their families. All I know is that somehow lives have been lost and displaced in the shuffle. There are many factors that play into this equation, some of it is greed, especially on the part of American growers that take advantage of migrant help (harvest of shame), drug smugglers looking for dupes, the human traffickers that prey on people looking for a better life or politicians that want to induce people to vote their way. I am hopeful that we can find an equitable solution for everyone that is looking for a happier time and a better life by way of commitment and hard work. As I am no stranger to the peaceful demonstrations against unfair treatment of workers and marches for equality that used to take place on a regular basis. This is a long road and the struggle will continue, but it is dedication and leadership by good example that will bring more people to the truth. As always, for all of us, just remember, the hope remains and the dream will never die. I stand with you. Phyllis M Smith Lake Havasu City, AZ

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