Highly pressured family life on the Border


Family pressures are familiar to us all, they are so much more acute here on the border.

Jason is 17 years old, a Hispanic, born on the US side of the river, a spina bifida kid who lives in a wheel chair. His mum left him at birth.

Magda his grandmother, adopted him as her own and continues to care for him.

She married Herminio seven years ago an undocumented Mexican.

One can’t imagine the feelings of a Spina bifida kid abandoned by his own mother.

His grandmother disciplined Jason for the questionable use of his cell phone.

Jason’s response was to call the police and accuse Herminio of sexual abuse and Herminio fled to Mexico.

Jason confessed that he had lied.

Magda now faces a very bleak economic future having no bread winner and coping with her feelings toward Jason as well as how to make ends meet: rent, food, special care for Jason on the meager monthly pay check that Jason gets for his condition.

Martin is a bricklayer. Is undocumented.

He lived with his wife and three kids not far from me.

The eldest teenage daughter against all warnings by her Dad was using her cell phone in a unwholesome way. Her dad reacted and the daughter rang the police.

Her father was detained and eventually deported resulting in another split family.

Marlene was born in Mexico. She has had a checkered career as a young person.

She crossed the river to escape her past, married, had three kids, divorced because of domestic violence, and later married a widow with two grown up daughters.

Marlene was in the process of fixing her undocumented status now that she was married to a US citizen.

But then her step daughters obviously jealous that she was stealing the affection of their father, “potted “her as an alien and she was hunted and picked up at a traffic light and put in detention center six hours away.

Her 16 year son assumed the responsibility, and with the help of his grandparents who live over the river did all the paper work to have his mother cleared and sprung after three months during which time he also he took care of his two younger siblings.

Miguel is an undocumented Mexican.

Some years ago he was helping a coyote group take Central American aliens who had been helped to cross the river out to the 100 mile frontier zone and beyond to Houston.

It entailed leaving the highway before check points and taking the party by foot over rugged terrain to meet with transport awaiting them from the Houston side.

On one trip he fell in love with a young Honduran girl and took her back to Brownsville. They now have three kids. Miguel retired from being a coyote.

The money was good but it was too dangerous what with three kids to be a father to.

He is a good dad.

Now as a building laborer they are trying to pay off a house, but there is always the possibility that one day either of the parents will be picked by highway patrol (DPS Department of Public Safety)) who will call the border patrol and will face a deportation order.

Fear of this is a way of life.

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