Sunday, March 8, 2020

Overheard at the Counter: Everything's So Peaceful Here

.. and I was hearing this story of a 17 year old kid from Tegucigalpa, Guatemala ... he's living in Fort Worth, and he had been sent across the bridge in Matamoros by his dad, who is still down there in the camps.

They are part of the "wait in Mexico" ruling by the Trump administration.  The kid said that the gangs in his neighborhood gave him three choices: work for them, get the hell out of the city, or be killed.  So his 43 year old father brought him North.

 By the time they got here, that's when they found out they had to wait in Mexico.  Which they said has it's own dangers.  If you leave the camp you get robbed.  Sometimes the Cartels sweep through the camps, picking up a bunch of people that they can try to ransom.  The kid and his father didn't have a tent so they slept on the ground.  When it rained they had to stand up until the rain was finished.

So, his father decided to send him across.  Underage unaccompanied minors have to be placed with someone if there is someone.  The kid said that when he turned himself in to the CBP they questioned him.  He told them about the gangs and they said, "Everyone says that.  You're lying.  Who told you to tell that story?"

but the kid swears he's not lying.  Still, after the detention center, they let him into the custody of a great uncle, who lives in an apartment with four other guys.  They all work at a nearby Sushi restaurant.  The kid is enrolled at school and when they interviewed him, he was in a car, and he said, "Everything is so peaceful here.  Everything is so clean.  There's no military in the streets.  There's no gangs in the streets.  This is the promised land."

Kid says that he's sad only because his dad is still in Matamoros, and his mom and sister are still back in Tegucigalpa.  He wishes they could join him, here, in the promised land. 

A land that he may not be able to stay in.  The Judge doesn't believe his story, because he doesn't have any scars.  If he had had scars, that might tell a different story.  No scars, no evidence of a risk of imminent danger.

But not all scars are visible.  And America is just too blind to see.

To blinded by being paradise.

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