I’ve been here [Pima County Juvenile Detention] three weeks. I’m 13, I’m in 7th grade. I’m Somalian, my dad still lives in Somalia. We’re Muslim. My mom has never visited. No one visits me. I have been in the U.S for five years… I have lived in refugee camps for a while. This is the first time something like this happened. Lots of people don’t do nothing; they just yell at me. I have trouble in my classes. They’re pissing me off. Every day they make a big argument, an argument about some nonsense. I threw a book at the teachers. Here I threw a food tray. It was an accident.
-A.A, age 13
Pima County Juvenile Detention Center, a 186-bed, co-ed facility built in 2000. Average stay is two weeks, longer in some cases, up to a year. … Read More »
E (left) and A (right) were both underage workers at Agriprocessors, Inc, a kosher slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa when it was raided by the ICE.
I was 15 when I left home, I am 18 now. My mother sold tortillas and my father sold things on the street. I have six sisters and one brother. My mother did not want me to leave. I left alone, then met up with seven women and a coyote. We went through the desert and then we took an inflatable boat. When I got here [to Postville, Iowa], everything was so different, the food was different. At the factory my job was to cut chicken into parts and clean it. I worked 14 hours a day, 6 days a week. I was 16 years old, I worked for 11 months before the raid. … Read More »
I was a GangBanger. My Mother is in the Police Academy and lives with her girl friend. My dad died. I have an uncle who was in prison for a while. No big deal.
I made friends with some of the other girls here. This is Mia. She is a puppy that belongs to one of the counselors here. I came from Texas where I ran away.
I just turned 15. I’m from Guatemala. They are trying to send me home but I think I am trying to stay here.
We left Ethiopia, where I was born and lived, and walked to Kenya. There were thirty of us, mostly older than me. From Kenya we traveled to South Africa. I had a counterfeit passport from Kenya and South Africa. We flew from South Africa to Brazil, where I worked my way north and ended up in a shelter in Texas for seven months.
Of all the undocumented immigrants that arrive in this country, a good proportion of them are children. From a young mother involved in the Postville, Iowa raid of a meat packing plant, to a young boy from Somalia now in a facility in Texas. In the coming weeks we are going to focus on these juvenile’s stories and more.