On Fronteras: Tens of thousands of Central American children are waiting to see how the country will respond to their immigration cases. We hear from an organization helping these minors in San Antonio navigate the complex immigration legal system. Summer time can mean fun in the great outdoors, but everything doesn’t always go as planned. On the show, a story of friendship and teamwork that began during a flash flood at a Texas river.
Legal Aid Group Helping Immigrant Minors in San Antonio
Thousands of unaccompanied children are coming from Central America, crossing the Rio Grande and being apprehended at the Texas border. They are coming from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador – but Honduras is the main source.
As night seizes Tegucigalpa, Honduras, the streets of one of the capital city’s toughest neighborhoods, Comayagüela, are virtually deserted. Most people here know that it’s not safe for anyone to be caught out alone at night. This is where the killer gangs are notorious.
The thousands of unaccompanied children from arriving at the Texas-Mexico border have become the latest pawns in the political battle over immigration reform, that’s according to the nonprofit Women’s Refugee Commission, who says this not a problem unique to United States.
On Thursday the military oversaw a media tour of the Air Force barracks at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, where 1,200 immigrant children who came to the U.S. without adults are being temporarily sheltered in San Antonio.
Situated in the midst of dozens of identical military barracks where young men and women go through Air Force basic training, one building is now filled with children.
Although a few foreign refugees come from cities where they had sophisticated education opportunities, many lived in remote areas where there were no schools, or in refugee camps where they may have received sporadic education.
Most are immersed in an irrelevant environment when they come here -- obstacles like speaking English, taking the bus, even learning to work in an American kitchen can be challenging.
Of the more than 10,000 refugees living in San Antonio, 80 percent are women and children and the high influx of students presents unique challenges for educators.
In the third part of her series, "The Refugee Story: Building New Lives," TPR’s Eileen Pace examines the dynamics of teaching a large population of students who arrive in the U.S. with diverse languages and skills.
“Yes, Barack will do that last one,” Colonies North Elementary teacher Sara Aguirre tells her students as she points to a classroom exercise on nouns and verbs.
This week our reporter Eileen Pace has brought you several stories on the refugee community here in San Antonio. From their resettlement to building new lives, to their children going to school, she has mapped what the experience is for people who leave war-torn countries for the promise of something better. Pace joins us along with District 8 council member Ron Nirenberg and Northside Independent School District officials to talk about the institutions helping them.
CORRECTION, 12/19/13: The stricken statement below regarding Texas's ranking among states that take in refugees is incorrect.
Texas is home to more refugees from strife-torn countries than any other state, and San Antonio takes in more than any other city in Texas. TPR's Eileen Pace examines the scope of the refugee influx to our city, and the ways San Antonio manages the new populations in our series, “The Refugee Story: Building New Lives.”