Dozens of illegal immigrants each year die in our deserts and waterways. Thousands are deported. Hundreds are injured in car accidents. But rarely do we look at these people as individuals.
The Rev. Gianantonio Baggio of St. Anthony's parish in Imperial recently led more than 100 Mexicans and Americans in a march to remember those who have died, and, equally important, those who have survived those departed souls. A Mass was staged and crosses were placed in the potter's field where 150 unidentified immigrants are buried. Each cross was labeled "no olvidado" — not forgotten.
Sometimes forgetting is exactly what people want to do. Illegal immigration will not just go away if we try really hard to forget about it. The hardships that force people to leave their homes and their families and attempt a daunting, dangerous journey north will not go away if we ignore them. Baggio is one of those leading the effort to make sure we don't forget, but there are countless others equally committed.