Every month, hundreds of children enter the USA illegally. They are escaping war and poverty in their countries. This is Rosita’s story.
Every month hundreds of families enter the USA illegally, escaping poverty and violence in Central American countries. They pay people smugglers to help them.
Rosita is 11, she is telling us the story of her illegal entry into the USA:
“One morning ‘The Coyote’, the people smuggler picked us up. I was very sad because my brother was staying and I didn’t want to leave him. I’d never seen my brother cry. My brother was crying because he knew I didn’t want to go with my mum. We walked a lot… for hours… to be able to get to a house near the border. It was in the afternoon that the smuggler made us cross the water in a raft. I was very nervous. My body was shaking. Once we got to the other side, we were crying with excitement because we knew we were in the United States. As we walked, the American border guards found us and they scared us because they had black masks and black clothes. They detained us. They asked us to come with them and put us in a car. They took us to a place like a jail, where they were more people and we stayed there three days. There was only one bed and one bathroom. The room was cold and the food was horrendous. It was nothing but hot soups and spicy foods. I got sick because I couldn’t eat. I got pale, because I couldn’t eat anything.”
Stephanie is Rosita’s American lawyer. She explains the background to Rosita’s case:
“Back in her home country, Rosita lived in a town that was under the control of one gang. Her school was under the control of another gang. Every day she would go back and forth and eventually she was so threatened and the threats were so severe, that her mom left the country with her and came to America.”
Thanks to Stephanie’s work Rosita’s family can live in the USA while her case is investigated. Rosita is learning to speak English at school.
Her father traveled to the USA ahead of them. Now they are reunited. Rosita remembers what happened when the saw each other again:
“I was so happy, he was crying, I was crying. My parents work hard everyday to give me good and have good clothes. But… my brother…. I miss my borther so much and I am scared that something will happen to him, that he will get in trouble with the bad guys.”
Many Americans believe illegal immigrants are a threat. Others believe America should help them.
What do you think?