This week I was able to go through my first round of intakes with respect to interviewing the recently apprehended unaccompanied detainees. It was a humbling experience speaking in Spanish, for a change. As I had mentioned prior to my travels, over the years my use of the Spanish language has become broken to a degree, which only hindered communication to a small degree. Thus, as one can imagine, prior to my first interview I was anxious to engage with the individual with whom I would be conversing. Luckily, the interview went smoothly given that the detainee was seventeen years of age, which definitely assisted in conveying certain concepts that might not have been clear for a younger age of minors. In particular, the minor I interviewed was able to share some of his recent traumatic experience travelling to the north, which entailed robbers and multiple safe houses before arriving to the border.
I am excited to attend court hearings next week given that I will be able to gradually grasp a firmer understanding of how the unaccompanied minors are selected by Americans for Immigrant Justice (AIJ) as a case for their lawyers. I also have been able to glean insight into the world of law by virtue of the fact that the organization contains a diverse faculty of young lawyers. While, I am an undeclared in my major, this has helped me in contemplating the different facets of law that may be of interest to me, especially nonprofit law.
As my time at AIJ comes to a close, I hope I have been able to assist in helping the unaccompanied minors feel more secure in their arduous journey, which hopefully concludes with relief in the United States. However, the fact of the matter is that many of them will be sent back to their homelands. This is not to say that my work has been vain, but it does make me constantly reevaluate the national crisis in terms of whether enough options for relief are being provided for the minors to stay in the United States. I think that my time at AIJ served me in terms of knowledge more than it did for the organization’s goals. I simply wish that I could do more for such a noble effort.