A 15-year-old boy in another state recently had a less-than-typical school day. The day began rather uneventfully; in fact, he got up at his usual early-morning time to go to school to lift weights with his football teammates as many Louisiana high school students also do. Sometime during third period, however, he received news that caused him to worry. His stepfather worked a local concrete company that was reportedly the subject of a federal raid at that time, leaving his stepdad and many co-workers at risk for immigration detention.
The teenager speaks English more fluently than anyone in his family, so he accompanied his mother to the scene. He later said that he thinks he saw his stepdad being taken into custody when a group of workers were loaded into a van by immigration officers. The boy tried to show officials documents he carried with him to prove that his family had already begun the process of seeking a status adjustment for his stepfather.
More than 30 people were arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents that day. The boy and his mother went to a local protestant church that has been designated as a safe area for immigrants in their community. Like many Louisiana families who have gone through or are currently facing similar situations, the family is fearful that they may never see the boy’s stepfather again.
Immigration detention is an issue that often prompts political debates in Louisiana and throughout the nation. Regardless of personal opinions, however, there are resources available to help families whose lives have been torn apart by such incidents. Anyone wishing to discuss a particular situation with someone well-versed in immigration law may reach out for support.
Source: desmoinesregister.com, “‘I think I saw my dad get arrested’:Iowa teen recounts immigration raid“, MacKenzie Elmer, May 10, 2018