Obviously this isn’t going to turn into an immigration blog because of one post, but I invited people to share their stories of real immigration struggles. This is one of those stories:
you invited immigration stories on your blog so i figured i would share one. i’m a social worker working with immigrant youth, most of whom are undocumented.
in mid-september, an 18 year old client of mine, let’s call him carlos, went missing for two days. he was waiting for his uncle at a bus stop on 9th and market where a witness told his uncle that the police took him away. his family called the police to locate him, but could not find him. finally, carlos called his family and told them he was in an ICE detention center in arizona. apparently, an undercover police officer tackled him from behind and started asking him questions in english. he didn’t understand and this seemed to upset the police officer more. carlos said the officer hit him, put him in a police car, and took him to 850 bryant. he didn’t get a phone call until he was in arizona.
sanctuary city, not so much.
carlos and his family came to this country from honduras because their lives were being threatened. while i know it shouldn’t matter, this young man fit absolutely no “street” profile. if it had been almost any other client of mine, i might have wondered what he said to the cop or what he was wearing, but not carlos. this kid is all button down shirts and waist high jeans that are appropriately sized. he was enrolled in high school, he was an A and B student, and his attendance was great. i’ve gotten letters of support from all his teachers, sent him his transcripts, and attendance records, but the judge didn’t care about any of it.
his bond was set at $20,000, which is preposterous. the family can manage the 10% for a bondsman, but not the collateral. the alternative is to find a reduced rate or probono lawyer (impossible) to help him fight his case in detention. he would likely argue political asylum, and could spend years in detention fighting that case just to get deported anyway. all we want is for him to be breathe some free air while the wheels of justice turn, which i figured would be cheaper for the feds but perhaps not. the immigration system is uneblievably absurd and cold; they are treating this young man as if he had committed some heinous crime.