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Matt Cameron 🗽 @matt_cam
, 16 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
Today I prepared a beautiful 6-year-old girl in a pink hat for an #asylum interview.

ME: Do you want to go back to El Salvador?

CLIENT [eyes wide]: No!

ME: Why not?

CLIENT [looking down at table]: Because of the bad people.

She'll be deported before her 10th birthday.
That tweet above is pretty much verbatim what she'll be saying on Monday; her father will provide the rest. He'll tell the interviewer about the threats of kidnapping & murder, and what gangs do to children of people they extort if they can't escape. She will not receive asylum.
The case will be referred back to an immigration judge, who will find that she & her family have not suffered persecution based on any grounds that the law can recognize. By the time of her hearing, AG Sessions will have personally removed any doubt of the law around this point.
I have finally after thirteen years and a lot of personal effort learned how not to take more of it home with me than I should.

Wellbutrin helps.
Children don't come alone from Central America because it is fun, or even for "better lives." They come to live free of the physical and sexual violence which so many will suffer if they remain.

And here's something no one else seems to be saying: They're our responsibility.
Colin Powell's "Pottery Barn doctrine" holds true: you broke it, you bought it.

With 100+ yrs of economic, military, & political meddling from the United States and generations of violence & degradation, #CentralAmerica is just as much our responsibility as #Iraq & #Afghanistan
Trump talks about #MS13 as if it's somehow not our problem. It is exactly and entirely our problem. Criminal gangs filled the vacuum our funding for brutal right-wing militaries created, and quickly gained a member base from deportees we sent back at the worst possible time.
Unauthorized Mexican migration is at a historic low not seen since early '70s. #ElSalvador, #Guatemala, & #Honduras are the source of most of our southern border crossers, and for very good reasons that every American--especially every Trump voter--should understand.
I am proud to live and work in #EastBoston, in a majority-Latino neighborhood. Most of my clients fled to this country for their lives, but few are legally considered to be refugees.

But they are.

This is the reality I have spent more than a decade confronting.
The asylum interviewers are specially trained to handle juvenile #asylum cases. They always try to make them feel comfortable in a cold government office, ask them what their favorite classes are and what they want to do when they grow up. I usually tear up at least once.
Most of my juvenile clients are eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile status, and it's such a relief to be able to tell them that they're going to be okay. But there are so many hundreds I *can't* honestly say that to... and Trump is intent on revoking #SIJ ASAP.
I personally know hundreds of these kids and their families. We are a neighborhood office, and we try to be as open as accessible as possible. We all become part of each other's lives.

Sometimes they even pay us.
I forget every time I talk about these cases that most people have no idea that this country has been deporting children, with increasingly effective efficiency. Obama's administration was holding them without bond & actively arguing that they were "a threat to the United States"
I don't know how to be proud of a country that doesn't have a place for some of the most honest, sincere, genuine, and hard-working people I've ever met. They sacrifice everything for their children, and we deport them. And it's all about to become so much worse.
I feel a little better now. Thanks for listening.

Nearly all of the children in this situation will never be able to afford attorneys. (Even me.) If you were touched by what I had to say here, please consider a donation to Kids in Need of Defense.

supportkind.org
(And if you're not already over here, you could do worse for the soul than this #Boston @theafghanwhigs / @Built_2_Spill show. See you tomorrow.)
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