LOS CHINGADEROS, TEXAS — Two weeks ago, Miguel Olivo crossed into the United States with his mother and father, when all three were picked up ICE agents at the border and separated from one another.
Miguel hasn’t seen his parents since; he’s only spoken to them briefly on the phone a handful of times.
“They told me that I had to go to this other place for just a little while while my mother and father took care of some things,” Miguel told us through a translator. “I do not know what those things are, but I hope to see my family again very soon. I miss them very much.”
This week, tensions mounted between the press and the White House during one of the semi-daily briefings when several reporters brought up the policy of separating immigrant children, like Miguel, from their parents when and if they cross the border into the country illegally. Despite there being no such law on the books, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted repeatedly that it was the law forcing the administration’s hand, and that Congress could simply fix the situation with a new or amended one.
“Some people told me that if I had just been inside my mother’s uterus, they would have actual human feelings for me, whatever that means,” Miguel said. “I don’t know what that means, but I do know that I miss my parents very so much.”
Miguel is one of thousands of children now being housed by the federal government, some in old super stores that are no longer operating. Miguel says when he found out that Sunday is Father’s Day, he didn’t want his own thinking he had been forgotten, so Miguel made his dad a card.
“I didn’t know where to send the card though, because they will not tell me where my papa is,” Miguel said. “So I’m sending it to the border where we were all picked up and I hope it reaches him before Sunday.”
Despite all of this, Miguel says he still hopes that America will provide the freedom and opportunity he and his family couldn’t get in Honduras. He says he is a “little confused” by what he’s seen, but still very optimistic about the future.
“I have to admit, I’m a little confused at what freedom feels like in the Land of the Free, but I still believe deep down America will be good to me and my family,” Miguel said. “You guys are a real country with real people in it that truly care. It’s not like a little less than half of you would elect a heartless, cruel, inept racist because you’re scared of the word socialism or something, right? Right?”