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A lonely man’s death in Pasadena says so much about the immigrant story in America

A lonely man’s death in Pasadena says so much about the immigrant story in America
On the one-year anniversary of his death, members of Eduardo Hernandez's family gather at his grave in Nicolas Romero, Mexico, to play guitar and sing. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The story about Eduardo Hernandez and the family he left behind in Mexico, but with which he was reunited the day before his death in Pasadena last year, nearly brought tears to my eyes.

I didn’t view this story in the context of current policies or frequently fraught relations with Mexico. Rather, Hernandez’s story is emblematic, it seems to me, of the immigrant experience over multiple decades.

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People left their homes for a variety of reasons — frequently because of economic hardship — and made their way someplace else in hope of a better life. Often that better life remained elusive.

Men were not the only ones who made this trip. Women and their children often left too and never again saw the family they left behind. Many, such as some in my family, arrived in the late 1800s and early 1900s with only the clothes on their backs and a few dollars in their pockets.

Immigrants have never had an easy time.

Martin Parker, Thousand Oaks

..

To the editor: I do not see the point of this story.

Hernandez abandoned his family, did not support them, and he entered the U.S. illegally. These are not good or noble acts — certainly not deserving of a story written about the person who did them.

I also am left to wonder about the compassion his family showed him and why it continues. I believe that compassion is earned.

Cyndi Strand, Manhattan Beach

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