Alice Driver Longreads June 21 minutes 4, words. Her love of maps, she said, was part of what gave her the confidence to migrate roughly 1, miles from El Portillo, Honduras, to McAllen, Texas, alone. Milexi dressed as a man and made it as far as Reynosa before being caught and turned over to the Center, where she had then spent 57 days and made the request to receive asylum in Mexico. Milexi left Honduras because her stepfather beat her mom and one of her brothers.
She said that she started cutting herself at age 7, but was also proud of herself because, for the past year, despite feeling anxious, she had not cut herself once. The Hill - DELUCA - Pop Groove Funk Soul she added a detail: One night her stepfather beat her mother.
She waited until he was asleep then got a knife from the kitchen and stabbed him. Her stepfather survived and after that, she decided to leave Honduras.
Milexi hoped to request asylum in the United States on the grounds of domestic violence, perhaps unaware that U. In Junethen Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in a decision titled Matter of A-B- vacated an immigration court decision to grant asylum to a woman fleeing domestic violence. A room for migrant girls at the Home for Children in Reynosa.
Milexi knew none of that. I hovered, indecisive about whether to try to explain what was going on in the U. Mexican photographer Jacky Muniello and I had decided that we wanted to work on a project with migrant girls, because we felt like their stories were often untold or that their voices were included only in certain stereotypical contexts like discussions of prostitution or human trafficking.
We were aware that it would be difficult — potentially impossible — to navigate not only Mexican bureaucracy and getting the permissions necessary to interview and photograph minors, but ethically complicated as well.
I let Milexi speak, interrupting her as little as possible, worried that the slightest misstep on my part would break her sense of trust in me.
Her first reflections about the journey were filled with wonder — the freedom of traveling on her own, of living free of violence — but the weight of unsaid trauma hung in the air. Four months after leaving Honduras, Milexi arrived in Reynosa.
It was June Treacherous Mile - Future Neighbors - Flesh Of Love temperatures hovered near degrees. She walked into a city with in which journalists were afraid to report the truth, a city where photojournalists had long faced the choice of either dying for their vocation, fleeing the city, or becoming wedding photographers.
As she discovered, soldiers dressed in camo and bulletproof vests patrolled the city in armored SUVs with mounted gun turrets. Milexi OK! Alright - Digital Boy - Technologiko apprehended while trying to cross the border to McAllen, Texas.
She was one of 37 migrant children at the Center in Reynosa that August whose ages ranged from 12 to The kids at the shelter wandered around in laceless shoes — even the metal grommets had been removed — a precaution the center took with minors to prevent self-harm. Until the situation of each minor was legally defined, they could not leave. Migrants, even when they are children, are often demonized in the media, both in Mexico and the U.
And here they face all types of situations, because it is complex to face that you are locked up. Minors are held for their own safety at such centers, given the risk that they could be kidnapped by gangs and that deportation for a child who has experienced physical or sexual violence or been threatened by a gang, could result in death. Some of the minors are apprehended in Mexico while others cross into the U. According to the Pew Research Center, U.
Migrants like Milexi, if left on their own in Reynosa, for example, are likely to experience violence at the hands of gangs or to be kidnapped and sold into prostitution. The Center tries to identify parents or relatives in order to release minors to family; once that occurs, the minors are then transported to their home country if the minor, though, is a native of Mexico, the child can remain in the Center until they reach 18 years of age and can legally make decisions for themselves.
This means that some children spend months or years at the Center. According to the Migration Policy Institute, an estimated 25, children were repatriated inand throughCustoms and Border Protection reported that some 50, minors were Treacherous Mile - Future Neighbors - Flesh Of Love at the border between ports of entry.
The only condition for our access was that we would only use first names and we would not photograph the faces of children without the written permission of their mothers or relatives, in the case that they were accompanied. The directors of both centers in Reynosa discussed being afraid, in general, that journalists would be critical of the conditions there, and while they conceded to only a brief interview, they gave us access to interview migrant children for roughly an hour a day over a period of a week.
At the Home for Children, I interviewed two 8-year-old girls, my first experience with such young subjects. Her tiny ears were pierced with gold studs, and she squatted next to a tree on the playground of the Home for Children surrounded by a low wall decorated with the handprints of migrant children. She was from Tepec, Guatemala, and her parents lived in the U. She said she had traveled with her 7-year-old cousin to Reynosa, Mexico.
She did not provide details. Karen crouched next to Katerin, also 8, who had traveled to the U. Katerin explained that she and her father lived in Florida for a few months before they were both caught and deported.
Her father was being held in a separate facility in Reynosa. When I asked her if she wanted to request asylum in the U. And my mom was sad because her cousin died. Then they stood up and followed a group of kids over to the fence, grabbing the top rail with their plump fingers, gazing out beyond the fence at a wall.
Neither of them had a coherent story, but they had shared with me what they could. Karen wrote out her name, face full of concentration, in square letters constructed deliberately, in the hand of someone who has recently learned to write.
I had permission from the Home Treacherous Mile - Future Neighbors - Flesh Of Love Children to interview Karen, and I had whatever concept of consent an 8-year-old can grant. Ashley, whose hair was in a French braid, hovered next to her mom.
Tifany, ran up to her mother and began to hiccup as her eyes overflowed with tears. She and her mother and sisters stayed at the Home for Children while requesting asylum in Mexico. Erika also worried about the girls missing school. They get good grades. It is the only thing that worries them — missing school. But then when I have thought, maybe in moments of despair, to pray for deportation, they tell me at that moment that they do not want to go back to the house.
He told her he wanted to kill her. The pair had spent almost two years at the shelter due to the fact that her first asylum request in Mexico was rejected, and the Home for Children, fearing she would be murdered if deported, provided her support to appeal the ruling. Liliana piled her golden-brown hair on top of her head, but curls escaped at the nape of her neck.
She wore a multicolored halter top, and she sat at a table in a hallway that connected to the playground on one end and the dormitories on the other. She talked about meeting the father of her child, a year-old member of the MS gang, when she was Her mother had migrated to the U.
She talked about how common it was for older men to date minors in El Salvador, said that you could file a complaint about it, but because it was so common, everyone, even the police, saw those relationships as normal. I did not have a phone. I did not have internet. Liliana remembered the brother choking his partner with an electric cord and leaving her unconscious. Liliana had requested asylum in Mexico but due to a lack of documentation of the domestic violence she discussed, her request had been denied.
The shelter continued to care for her and Josef during the process of appealing the ruling, fully aware that without their support she would be on the streets of Reynosa with a young child and unable to work due to her legal status. Like Milexi, Erika and her daughters and Liliana and her son had initially hoped to request asylum based on domestic violence claims. When I interviewed Milexi in August, it marked the three-month anniversary of her arrival in Reynosa, and she was Forest Of Fire - Jon Anderson - 3 Ships waiting to receive asylum in Mexico.
She said that initially she did not think the trip on the Beast would be either too easy or too difficult. Then she listed what she saw along the way: a girl raped, a boy killed, and two gang members pushed off the train and ground to pieces by its Treacherous Mile - Future Neighbors - Flesh Of Love . She was raped there, they did … oh, poor thing! In front of everyone, in front of all the men.
Obviously, I did not want to see Treacherous Mile - Future Neighbors - Flesh Of Love , because Andy Caldwell Ft Omega - Pushin ugly!
On the train, they did it! How horrible! There were so many of them, eight who did it. There was so much blood that the whole cabin was full of blood and even the handrails where you get off the train were covered in blood. The last she saw, the girl was weak and nobody wanted to help her. In the railway car that she rode in, Milexi said the rape victim was the only other girl. I doubt she was saved. Then calmly, without changing her tone of voice or taking a breath, Milexi described the assault.
Why Treacherous Mile - Future Neighbors - Flesh Of Love I have to give them to you? Milexi said that the blood made a sound, something like psst psst. My throat felt swollen. I stayed there. I was in shock. At another point, she said that gang members started chasing her and her friends down the train.
A migrant boy in front of her turned around and told her to go ahead. When two gang members caught up to White Din - Krokus - Headhunter migrant, he hit one, who then fell down the stairs and was pulled into the wheels of the train. The migrant then pushed the other gang member off the train.
Milexi talked about running out of money when she arrived in Monterrey on the Beast. The first person she saw there was a young woman who was sweeping.
Can I help you clean? Later, upon arriving in the heart of the city, Milexi saw a butcher cutting up chickens.
Where you have made it, many men have failed. She decided to stay in Monterrey and try to earn some money to afford a bus ticket for the rest of the way to Solsbury Hill - Various - Refugees: A Charisma Records Anthology 1969-1978 border.
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