If the pioneer and frontiersman spirit has disappeared in most Americans, it’s alive and well in migrant workers.
Imagine traveling all the way from Guatemala to Maine to pick blueberries, or from Nicaragua to Alberta to tend cattle, or from Mexico to Washington to harvest hops. There are people who do this, and they are badasses.
The people who make this journey often do it with few resources, and in spite of laws, ruffians, and thousands of miles. And they do it with vision: to support a family back home, or to make a new life possible for a family here.
There is almost unheard-of long-range thinking, courage, self-discipline, work ethic, and resourcefulness. Why are we not doffing our caps to these people?
There may be a language and cultural barrier, but it’s a true shame if we don’t get to know them and understand the realism in which they’re rooted as well as the ambition that lets them dream and travel vast distances for a better life. These people could teach us something. If the “spirit of America” is or should be anything at all, it’s embodied in the risk-taking of the migrant.