To friends and neighbors in the Rio Grande Valley:

One response to the extraordinary influx of children from Central America and Mexico into our region is to serve them as a child advocate. See below:

Become a Child Advocate with the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights! Share the gift of your time and attention as an advocate for unaccompanied immigrant children in federal detention! Register for our upcoming volunteer training June 7th and 8th in Harlingen, Texas. Contact Devorah Rapoport: drapoport@theyoungcenter.org

Disappeared

AloneThe man is an older fellow who for many years had lived in a poor community south and east of McAllen, Texas. For every reason that has to do with a broken immigration system (inefficient, inadequate, and inhumane), he is still not a legal resident. For years, this undocumented citizen had paid his taxes and had worked the usual immigrant’s 80 hour week at less than the minimum wage. He had put his children and then his grandchildren—all US citizens—through school.

On a regular Saturday morning a couple of weeks ago, he decided to go down the street to cut the grass at one of the neighborhood’s little evangelical churches. He hauled out his venerable lawn mower—so old it had no “kill” switch, and so could run on and on and on—and loaded it up onto his pickup truck.

This good neighbor had finished the first couple of passes over the lawn when a border patrol vehicle pulled up to the church yard.

And then the man was gone, the lawn mower still purring away, but now alone, and unattended.

As were his wife, his children, his grandchildren and his neighbors.

A week later, the lawn remains halfway cut, looking like a half spoken phrase, a bad haircut, an insult to the community.