This is a poem about a young man named Federico and how he takes a stand while working on a farmed labor camp. Due to reasons of “whiskey or whatever” a crop-duster sprayed pesticide while he and entire families were still working and Federico was killed. After his death, workers get even by ruining the tomato crops and blaming it on Federico’s Ghost. This was what seemed to be a way for the immigrants to get even for their mistreatment.
The way that Federico and his family were treated in this poem is not far from the truth. Actually it is truth. I have a friend that “visited” Texas with his family from Colombia at the age of four. His family was to leave six months later but decided to illegally stay. He had no say so over his relocation; however, this is now the only life he knows. He lives his life in fear of being returned to a foreign place that is technically considered home. He is now a grown man that tolerates more than most due to his lack of citizenship. You may or may not be surprised at how local businesses treat individuals in such a situation. They are good enough for employment but not good enough for a fair shake. He is the first to work the late and weekend shifts, no healthcare benefits and no paid time-off when injured at work. Injustice is wrong in every language.
I am not stating my stance for or against immigration laws. I am only sharing what I have witnessed in the life of this illegal immigrant man and how it parallels with the life of Federico.