EL PASO, TX — After accepting responsibility for fellow detained migrant child José Estada, age 3, Carlos Lopez, 11, has expressed concerns that he is not living up to the responsibility of raising a child.
“Each day I try to do my best by José, but every evening I end up riddled with guilt as I sleep on the concrete detention center floor,” explained Carlos. After escaping political unrest and travelling hundreds of miles Carlos’ family applied for asylum, only to be detained by ICE. That’s when young José entered his life.
“I know that none of us ever get to choose the perfect time to raise a child,” mused Carlos as he watched José play nearby with a discarded crumpled-up juice box container. “For some single parents, work gets in the way – for others they are torn from their family by ICE agents and forced to care for a small, equally-traumatized child. But I knew it was time to step up.”
Carlos described juggling the demands of raising a 3-year-old while also living in a cramped Border Patrol facility with no adequate access to medical care, basic sanitation, water, or adequate food. “Time management is key,” Carlos explained, showing a crude schedule listing ‘Not Being Educated’, ‘Representing Ourselves In Court’, and ‘Weeping.
Sitting behind the chainlink fence with dozens of other separated migrant children, Carlos was quick to point out that his anxieties over child rearing are in no way a reflection on young José. “He’s an amazing kid, and makes all my hard work feel worthwhile,” Carlos explained. “He offers to share the mylar blanket with me when we’re trying to sleep under the 24-7 overhead lights. Plus, he and I have lots in common, having both been ripped from our parents after a perilous journey.”
“Still,” Carlos mused, “I know that anyone who is responsible for the lives of children understands the great responsibility and does their best.” At this point, a nearby ICE guard screamed at Carlos for letting José keep the juice box container.
At press time, the Trump Administration has introduced stiff fines for parental neglect in their concentration camps.