Memories of Maryland Still Entice Ambrosio

There are some tiny bits of good news, you just have to look a little harder. For instance, last night I read in the WSJ that the number of illegal immigrants coming into the US from our southern border is plummeting. Maybe it’s because there are so fewer jobs, or that the people who pick up day laborers by the side of the road are picking up fewer of them.

The story told the tale of a Guatemalan named Ambrosio who returned to his native country, giving up a $12 an hour job as a painter in Maryland to return to his native land, where “he lived in a shack with sugar-cane walls, tin roof, earth floor and no refrigerator.”

He worked hard, for his employer and on the side, doing landscaping for a nearby estate. “We hired seven Americans who weren’t up to the job, then we found Ambrosio. He showed up on time and took his work seriously,” said his anonymous employer.

Despite the creature comforts Maryland offered, Ambrosio thinks he’s living better back at home in Guatemala, where a truck he brought down from the states offers him a chance to have his own transport business. But the tempation to return still haunts him, like when he phoned up his former anonymous employer. “If I could get the right papers–a visa–I would return,” he said.