Busy typing in my sunroom, I heard a banging on the back door — and there was Janelle smiling enthusiastically at me, saying, “You didn’t answer your doorbell — you didn’t answer me banging on your front door! But your car was there so I just knew you were. Oh, how GLAD I AM to SEE YOU!” she exclaimed as she entered, taking off her cute jacket and squeezing me tightly. If anything, she was more glamorous than ever, wearing her hair long under a fashionable hat, in a sharp casual winter outfit.
I had talked with her from time to time but the last I knew, she had left Minnetonka to return to NYC where she sought medical care from a doctor she trusted, and advice from close friends on marrying an older man who desperately wanted her as his wife. I had been reluctant to advise her because she had given me strong reasons why she shouldn’t — even though marriage would have given her the citizenship that as a DACA she so badly needs. “All I want,” she had said then was, “I just want to marry someone my age, someone I truly love and want babies with. And he is not that man. But neither have been any others I have met.”
Before talking further, she handed me a wrapped bottle of wine, a gift-wrapped little box, and a piece of jewelry she had made from Czech and Japanese seed and other beads. It was strikingly beautiful. What hidden talents this sophisticated lady possesses. “Open up the box,” she urged. It contained a beautiful long silver chain containing several turquoise stones, my birthstone. Strangely enough, I had never owned any turquoise jewelry.
We then settled down with cups of tea while I plied her with questions. “When I last saw you the day before you left for NYC, you said you just needed to get away and talk with NY friends, then maybe spend time with him in Florida because you had only known him about a month.” She interrupted me excitedly saying, “And that told me he was just a ‘dufus’, no one I could possibly tolerate no matter how rich he might be. And that was even doubtful. I also realized that I am a big city gal and not a midwestern, no matter how nice it is. I’m also not being preoccupied about my ‘Dreamer’ status. I’m perfectly capable of living a good life with good people so I’m returning temporarily to Minnetonka to join my party-loving crowd there and will figure out what to do next. What I also suddenly realized was that my circle of friends have invariably been much older than I. We have many ‘generational’ differences.” I could resonate to that since my last ten or more years I have been experiencing how my generational differences have made huge differences in relations with my daughter and other younger people.
It seems to me that Janelle has gained the insights she sought in NY and Florida. And I now am more hopeful that the partial government shutdown our President is subjecting our hapless country to, may eventually force a compromise with our new Democratic controlled House to again sponsor a bill that will combine border security measures with protections for “dreamers” like Janelle. This had been approved by both houses but rejected by Trump when proposed last year.
Democrats could compromise to win relief for undocumented immigrants. A million dreamers were brought here illegally by parents. Democrats could use a visa lottery program awards of 50,000 applicant visas yearly—because according to Wayne Nealis, a writer for the Community Voices section of MinnPost, an electronic Minneapolis daily newspaper, the present program does not have wide public support. Instead one could use those slots to gain legal status of another 50,000 parents of Dreamers each year to keep those families intact. It came close to passing in the 2013 bill for comprehensive reform and border security. A June Gallop poll showed 83% of Americans favor allowing Dreamers legal status and a route to citizenship. The MinnPost Compromise suggests if Democrats hold firm, Trump and Republicans are not likely to oppose a solution that their poll shows many of heir own voters favor. Putting the offer on the table would test whether Trump and Republicans are serious about making a deal. Then Janelle would be free to explore the world and live her dreams as I have been free to do.