An immigration attorney I know shared a document with me recently: an appeal sent to the U.S. Department of Justice Board of Immigration, the government office that interprets and applies immigration laws. The document told the story of how in the summer of 2014, at the height of the humanitarian crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border that brought tens of thousands of unaccompanied child migrants seeking asylum, Border Patrol agents stopped one child (referred to simply as “Y-F”) and interrogated him in Spanish. “Why did you leave your home country or country of last residence?” the officers asked. “To look for work,” Y-F allegedly told them. At the time of the interrogation, Y-F was only three years old.
That’s right: a toddler coming to the U.S. looking for work. It turned out Y-F’s testimony was not a verbatim transcription of the interrogation, prompting the lawyers filing the appeal to question its veracity. Whether Y-F’s response turns out to be real, the story reflects the power of the core reason — and the myth — of why many immigrants come to this country.
Read the full story from High Country News: “Letter: Take a job, create another”