On any accustomed afternoon, you ability acquisition 18- and 19-year-olds arena basketball in the Posada Guadalupe parking lot. But it is added acceptable you will acquisition them arena soccer, either in the aforementioned parking lot or in a adjacent park.
“They adopt soccer by far,” said Phillip Ley, O.F.M. Conv., administrator of Posada Guadalupe, a abode in San Antonio for asylum-seeking adolescent men who acquire age-old out of apprehension shelters. These adolescent men, who entered the United States as unaccompanied minors, are registered with Clearing and Customs Enforcement.
While some acquire alone been in apprehension for months, others acquire been there for years. “Some of [the cover seekers] are 3 years old,” Ancestor Ley said. “They aren’t activity to abuse anyone.”
Posada Guadalupe can host as abounding as 20 adolescent men at a time. They assignment on their G.E.D.s and apprentice English while they delay for their cover applications to be processed. That can booty as continued as three years. Usually, the adolescent men access assignment permits able-bodied afore they apprehend aback about their cover cases.
“We usually get them on their 18th birthday. I address a letter to ICE that we will acquire so-and-so. So far, the belletrist I’ve accounting acquire worked,” said Ancestor Ley, who has been active the centermost for the aftermost 12 years. Posada Guadalupe additionally sets up the adolescent immigrants up with pro bono attorneys at Raices, a refugee aid activity in Texas.
According to Victoria Neilson, an advocate with the Catholic Clearing Network Inc., undocumented adolescent bodies are appointed as unaccompanied accouchement aback they are in the United States afterwards a ancestor or grandparent. Their petitions are amid added than 764,000 clearing cases awaiting in court, according to the detached Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.
“The processing time can alter appreciably based on area the case is actuality heard,” Ms. Neilson said in a buzz account with America. Which adjudicator is appointed to apprehend the case additionally affects the processing time, she said, abacus that approval ante additionally alter decidedly from one adjudicator or arena to the next.
“Generally the cover backlogs can be actual demanding [on individuals], including the action of appointment the application,” Ms. Neilson said. Those gluttonous cover acquire to “to adduce their adventure several times and that’s accompanying with the delay time.”
Father Ley’s time confined in San Antonio has been a change of pace. He spent abounding years in missions in Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras. Twenty years ago, a acceptable acquaintance of his was gunned down. Two weeks later, Ancestor Ley was kidnapped.
“Two guys put a gun to my head,” he said. They had been afterward him from the bank. In El Salvador, you acquire to use banknote because businesses do not booty checks or acclaim cards. “I went to the coffer to get the money for our account accumulation of food. They were watching me.”
The bearings has alone gotten worse aback then, he said. The adolescent men who access at Posada Guadalupe acquire told Ancestor Ley they appear for safety. It may booty years for their cases to be resolved, but alike in detention, they accept three meals, candy and a safe abode to live.
Immigration courts acquire been abounding for years, but alike added so aback the Trump administering appear its zero-tolerance bound policy, Ancestor Ley said. Advocate General Jeff Sessions appear the new action in May, vowing to arraign anyone who enters the United States illegally.
“Zero altruism will not assignment to dissuade anyone from advancing to the United States,” Ancestor Ley said. “Anyone who says it will assignment as a bridle is either lying or doesn’t apperceive what he’s talking about…. Aloof because a law is a law, that doesn’t accomplish it moral.”
On Sept. 24, three association of the Posada Guadalupe awash calm on a couch to watch “Avengers: Infinity War,” dubbed in Spanish. Fernando Andino, who played the cine on his laptop, had apparent it before.
“Ohhhh,” the added two wowed as the Hulk fabricated his aboriginal actualization on the screen, accessible for his showdown with Thanos, the arch villain in the series.
Mr. Andino, who came from Honduras, had been at Posada Guadalupe for three months. He had been bedfast by ICE for nine months afore his 18th birthday.
“They advised us well—they aloof don’t let you go out,” he said of the apprehension shelter. “I larboard [Honduras] because I was accepting troubles with Mara,” Mr. Andino added, apropos to Mara Salvatrucha, a able Central American assemblage that was founded in Los Angeles.
“They would canyon by the abode aback I got older,” Mr. Andino said, but was afraid to go into details. His mother is complex with the gangs and he still has four brothers who alive in Honduras.
Next to him, Carlos Pereyra, who is additionally from Honduras, said abjection collection him to the United States. “The alone way for me to abutment my ancestors was to appear here,” he said. Mr. Pereyra, who had not accustomed his assignment permit, has been afraid to leave Posada Guadalupe to alpha alive as anon as possible. He grew up never alive his father.
Marvin Bac came in from the kitchen, area he had been accomplishing dishes. Mr. Bac, who came from Guatemala, said he additionally fled the gangs. “The crime is such that you can’t go out on the streets,” he said. “There are a lot of gangs. They appear for you and if you don’t join, they abuse one of your ancestors associates so that you will accompany them.”
In the United States, Ms. Neilson said, best anticipate of assemblage abandon as article that can be avoided. But in Central America’s “Northern Triangle”—El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras—there are neighborhoods area gangs action as quasi-governments.
“In Central America, there are places that boilerplate is safe,” she said. “Some bead out of academy because their abode is in one assemblage adjacency and their academy is in another. They can’t move aback and alternating afterwards risking their lives.”
Father Ley put it added bluntly. “They either accompany a gang, die or leave the country,” he said. “Gang burden is austere business. If you go into assertive [neighborhoods] afterwards permission, you’re dead. If the gangs appetite your daughter, they either booty her or she leaves the country.”
One adolescent man who backward at Posada Guadalupe was baffled acutely for abnegation to accompany a gang, Ancestor Ley said. The assemblage let him go, but promised to acknowledgment for him. That is aback he fled to the United States.
“Gang admission for boys is that you acquire to annihilate someone. For girls, you acquire to go to bed with anybody in the gang,” Ancestor Ley said. Those who appear to the United States are not assemblage members, he said.
At Posada Guadalupe, some of the adolescent men are still in adaptation mode. They accommodated with acceptance belief to be amusing workers at adjacent universities. While Ancestor Ley encourages them to study, some are advancing with alone three or four years of academic education. The adolescent men are absolutely added absorbed in alive and sending money home.
Like archetypal 18-year-olds, perhaps, they do not consistently apple-pie up afterwards themselves, Ancestor Ley said. He declared an adventure area a bag of arctic craven legs went to decay because the bag was not closed properly.
“You acquire to accumulate on them,” he said. It seems to work. The adolescent men afresh teamed up to cut the backyard with a edger wacker aback the lawnmower was broken.
“Well, you know, they acquire to get their affairs done,” Ancestor Ley quipped. “No chores, no soccer.”
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