Thursday, November 19, 2020
Melissa Sanchez for ProPublica Illinois (co-published with Mother Jones and El País) tells a sobering story of immigrant teens working dangerous jobs at night to pay off debts to smugglers and attending school in the day. "Here in the Chicago suburb of Bensenville, and in places like it throughout the country, Guatemalan teenagers like Garcia spend their days in class learning English and algebra and chemistry. At night, while their classmates sleep, they work to pay debts to smugglers and sponsors, to contribute to rent and bills, to buy groceries and sneakers, and to send money home to the parents and siblings they left behind. They are among the tens of thousands of young people who have come to this country over the past few years, some as unaccompanied minors, others alongside a parent, amid a spike in the number of Central American migrants seeking asylum in the U.S."