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  • A Long Journey

    A Long Journey

    Landing safely in Canada in 2014 was unbelievable happiness for B. The 10 years of fleeing had finally opened to a future. The journey began in Ethiopia and led him to Tanzania where he was educated and where he met and married his wife.

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  • Immigrants Deserve to Be Heard

    Immigrants Deserve to Be Heard

    According to two refugees, Lesotho is a peaceful country despite the instability among the political leaders. These men appreciate the Lesotho government for giving them shelter, though the small stipend they have been receiving is cut out since January 2015, this without any explanation.

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  • Peruvian Immigrant

    Peruvian Immigrant

    Lima, Peru – Julie (19, Dominican Republic) married Henry (25, Peru) and returned with him to his family home after an internet courtship and personal visit. Following his family’s rejection he became verbally abusive which turned into physical abuse after their son was born.

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  • The Power of Language

    The Power of Language

    Jorge’s family lived off the land raising corn, vegetables and livestock in rural Mexico. Traveling with his burro up a mountainside to harvest corn, left him little time for school, but he completed sixth grade. Gradually, members of his family traveled north seeking a better life.

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  • Young Refugees

    Young Refugees

    Tacoma, WA - Antonio grew up in El Salvador. His father abandoned him, his mom and his baby sister shortly after his sister was born. When Antonio was 16 years old, the “Maras” (gangs) began threatening him. One day as he was leaving school, members of the gang cornered him and took his phone.

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Young Refugees

Tacoma, WA - Antonio grew up in El Salvador. His father abandoned him, his mom and his baby sister shortly after his sister was born. When Antonio was 16 years old, the “Maras” (gangs) began threatening him. One day as he was leaving school, members of the gang cornered him and took his phone.

They called his mother and demanded an extortion payment of $1,000 or they said they would kill Antonio. They said, “Do you want to celebrate your son’s next birthday or his funeral?” Antonio’s mother was very frightened for his safety and paid the money. Later, another gang started threatening Antonio. He was very fearful for his life and stopped going to school. His mother decided it would be safer for him to go to live with his uncle in the United States. Antonio agreed because he was afraid the gangs were going to kill him.

Antonio’s mother agreed to pay a “coyote” $6,000.00 to help him get to the United States. She paid $2,500 up front and the remainder when he arrived safely. He traveled with a group of 30 other migrants, primarily from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. After crossing the river in a raft, the group walked for several days, but was eventually detained by immigration officials. Antonio was deemed eligible for a Special Immigrant Juvenile Visa and is now a legal permanent resident. With support from Catholic Community Services International Foster Care program, he is a junior in high school, passes in all classes, participates on the swim team and is taking piano lessons.

– Susan Wells, SNJM

Reflection: How can I support youth who have fled violence in their home country and are now transitioning to life in foster care?

Resource: http://www.usccb.org/about/children-and-migration/ unaccompanied-refugee-minor-program

Action Contact a local agency working with unaccompanied minors detained at the border and offer to provide tutoring or mentoring support to one youth in foster care.