Today I tagged along with my immigration lawyer brother as he traveled to San Antonio for some Pro Bono work. He volunteered to stand in for undocumented immigrant kids who were caught trying to sneak into the U.S. It was pretty sad. One of the kids was 14 years old. He was from Guatemala and said he had traveled the entire distance alone.
My brother talked to 3 different kids today. Two 17 years old and one 16 year old, from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, respectively.
The kids were humble. They said they did not fear returning to their countries, but did not want to because "queremos sacar a nuestras familias adelante." They want to work to send money back home to their families. That's it. That's why these kids are here.
Another kid, whom my brother did not represent, stood in court as the judge told him she didn't like seeing repeat offenders. This was his second time before the judge. He told her, "I don't like being here, but the situation in my country is bad. I hope it improves and I don't have to come back." This - coming from a 17 year old.
I don't think I knew how to microwave a hotdog at 17. These kids are taking months long trips - just to make it into this country to work. Wow. I think I have a couple of things to be thankful for.