March 28, 2010

Hard life ahead in Honduras for one deportee

planeload of Honduran deporteesOne of many planeloads of deportees from the US
Photo: El Heraldo, Honduras

The Kentucky State Journal has a sad but not really uncommon story of a 19-year-old deportee currently being 'detained' (that ominous word that the media likes to use in an accusatory manner against Honduras) in the United States of America.

Honduran deporteeAt 19 years old, Julio Martínez will arrive homeless in Honduras, with no family to support him or help him to adjust to the new culture. He'll probably have no ability to get a job and may not even be able to get the paperwork needed to apply for a job. His accent will identify him as a 'foreigner' subject to discrimination and his deportation status will make him suspect to any potential employers. His education and job experience in the US will likely be disregarded.

Julio's crime: allowing his mother to illegally bring him to the US when he was 7 years old. They were caught by immigration in Texas shortly after their arrival to the US, but under a 'catch and release' program, his mother fled with Julio and his sister. When they failed to appear at the immigration hearing two years later, Julio became a fugitive from justice at 9 years old.

Julio is a typical American kid, a church-going, soccer-playing high school graduate who was working to pay for his college education. According to ICE, he has no other criminal history, but is not entitled to a hearing because of the final order of deportation issued when he was 9.

Hey, I'm a law-and-order advocate. I believe that everyone should respect the immigration laws of any country − and that includes US Americans coming to Honduras. But holding 7-year-olds responsible for the crimes of their parents is just a little crazy in my mind. If a bank robber takes his 7-year-old on a heist, can that boy be later charged with bank robbery when he is 19? I don't think so!

Can any of you imagine what would happen to your 19-year-old child if he was shipped to another country where he didn't know the culture, maybe not even the language, with absolutely no support system in place? A country where there is 30% unemployment, no unemployment insurance, no homeless shelters, no reintegration programs.

Can't the immigration laws be amended to give the same protections to innocent foreign children that US children receive?
Newer posts Older posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...