- Posted April 28, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Student voices in journalism
An American in Honduras: A Different Perspective on Illegal Immigration
We've all seen the headlines and heard the stories decrying illegal immigration to the United States, and demanding "mojados" as they're called in the South be immediately deported. However, something most American citizens lack is 1.) A knowledge of American immigration, and 2.) A window into the circumstances that bring about illegal immigration.
I first moved to Honduras in 2010, a whirlwind move for someone who has rarely been outside the great American States. Being only 13 at the time, especially, made it quite a shocker. One of my closest friends there was a boy named Milton. He was two years older than me, but since we were both the same size, we stuck together. Leaving all my friends behind in December was really hard. I lived for a few years in the States, but never forgot about my friends, ever. Now, at age 17, I'm here in Honduras again, 2 months into an 18 month term. I met with Milton tonight, I've seen him a few times in the last month, but tonight was very different, much more urgent. Since he had left school, he had been struggling with feeding his Mom and sister. Three weeks ago, he left Honduras will 8 friends to go to the US to find work to feed his family. Once arriving in Guatemala, his group was attacked by bandits, and as he was the smallest, he was beaten and left naked. Finally, when he found clothes, and transportation, he made it to Mexico. Close to the US-Mexico border, he was captured and flown back to Guatemala, where he hitchhiked back to Honduras. There's many holes of this story that can't be filled in, because when asked, he would sit there, and tears would flow from his eyes. Not a word would be said. I know more horrific things happened on that journey, things that he will never speak of. America needs to understand that illegal immigrants aren't trying to ruin the US, or take your jobs. They're trying to feed their parents, brothers, sisters, children. And they go through far greater lengths, and far greater trials than you or I.