On any given day, the 10th floor of the Earle Cabell Federal Building in downtown Dallas is filled with men, women and children waiting to appear before an immigration judge. On certain days, like yesterday, many of them are Central American children, having arrived at the United States border, alone, during the recent so-called "surge" that's sent officials across the country, including in Dallas County, scrambling for a place to temporarily house them.
Ammodramus You're ten years old, you've just made your way across two countries, and you're here to explain your story to a guy you don't know in a language you don't speak. Go.
For a room filled with kids, teenagers, and their families, most were withdrawn and silent. The overhead lights bored into the crowd, as the bilingual secretary addressed them exclusively in Spanish. She arranged the kids and their families in order of age and home country, but just this first step in the court process was complicated and long-winded. Much of that has to do with miscommunication: Some kids didn't know they had to bring their parent or guardian with them to court. Some kids didn't bring the right documents. Some didn't know they could, or should, have brought a lawyer.More »