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Singer Rededicates ‘Godspeed’ to Immigrants

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Much public attention has been focused on the recent immigration turmoil with children being intentionally separated from their parents while they are being detained for illegally attempting to cross the border in Texas. As U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration publicly rail against Mexican and Central American immigrants with their new “zero tolerance” policy, many others have used their prominence and platform to combat what has been deemed as xenophobia, using overtly abusive tactics to deter immigration of less desirable people.

Born and raised in Texas, singer-songwriter Radney Foster has re-released a Spanish version of his classic “Godspeed”(Dulces Sueños) in order to express his deep sorrow at these occurrences. “I was born and raised on the Mexican border in Del Rio, Texas,” says Foster. “I’m heartbroken by the image of young children being taken from their parents. When I originally wrote ‘Godspeed,’ I was a desperate father, separated by thousands of miles, literally by a continent, from my son. I wanted him to know how much I loved him. I can only imagine the desperation of these parents and children.”

Foster originally wrote the song as a lullaby to his son who moved to France with his mother when he was 5. He released the song, which included background vocals by Emmylou Harris, on his 1998 album “See What You Want to See.” The song was later covered by The Dixie Chicks on their album “Home,” which sold six million copies. It’s also been recorded by Kenny Loggins, Nick Lachey and Marc Broussard.

“My hope in rewriting ‘Godspeed’ was that people might lose their preconceptions about these families and look at them as human beings who should be treated with dignity, mercy and grace,” explains Foster. “The only way to change someone’s mind, is to first change their heart. Songs can do that in a way that arguments can not.”

“It’s frustrating to hear people opine about the border crisis, who have never even been there,” Foster continues. “I’m a fourth generation border native. Though not Latino, I was raised in a bilingual home and taught to respect everyone, regardless of race, creed or color. That’s an American value. Watching children being forcibly taken from their parents, solely because they crossed a border is antithetical to everything I believe. My conscious tells me it’s wrong, my faith tells me that’s wrong and the values I was taught at the dinner table tell me it’s wrong.”

For Foster and many others, separated and missing immigrant children have been the main focus. They say they are not seeking open borders. Instead, they want to see more humane treatment of immigrant families by keeping them intact as they go through the legal process.

 

“My prayer for these children is that they will be quickly reunited with their loved ones,” says Foster, “whether they are allowed to stay in this country as new citizens or return to their country of origin.”

 

 

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