Wednesday, May 23, 2018
From Abandoned to Hope: An Undocumented Immigrant Teen
Abandoned when he was only 5 years old, Daniel Morales lived and somehow managed to survive on the streets in a Latin American country despite all the crime, poverty, and other dangers.
Finally, as a teen when faced with threats to join a gang, Daniel did what so many refugees have done, he rode the "beast"--on top of trains up through Mexico to the U.S., a very dangerous journey.
Yes, there are horrific stories, too, of the criminals that Daniel managed to avoid. Some of the latter also enter the United States illegally and get lots of front page news because of their immoral actions including rape and murder. But they are a minority.
It's time that we Americans focus on the HOPE stories, the innocent Dreamers whose only crime is sneaking across a border in order to escape crime, poverty, and injustice.
Daniel is one such incredible narrative of hope.
How he managed to get into the U.S. is unknown, but it can be imagined from reading daily news of arrests of illegal immigrants every week along the Mexico-U.S. border.
Hannah Eash-Gates, Daniel's legal representative and former member of Mennonite Voluntary Service, said, Daniel "is relentlessly positive." According to her, Daniel is "incredibly bright. Even without a formal education, taught himself to read and write."
Daniel and Hannah met at the Refuge and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) in San Antonio, Texas where Hannah worked for MVS.
"In the two years it took for Eash-Gates to help Morales achieve legal permanent residency status, he made it on the honor roll and learned two languages!"
Read more about helping undocumented immigrants and others in the Mennonite magazines, Extending Beyond, Beyond Ourselves, and the websites of Mennonite Central Committee.
In the Light,