Few Child Refugees Get to Stay Here Legally. Meet One of the Lucky Ones

Darlin Adonay Peña has a headache.

On a Wednesday afternoon in May, he takes a break from his job flipping burgers at a McDonald’s on Central Avenue in Phoenix to sit down and talk, sipping a frozen caramel coffee drink and rubbing his almond eyes.

A brown rosary peeks from beneath his shiny black uniform. He’s shaved both sides of his head, taming a few meticulous black curls atop with gel.

A few pimples on his forehead give away Peña’s age. He is just 18. This is his first job since coming to the United States from Honduras last year, and he wants to do it to perfection.

He makes $7.95 an hour. The work is stressful. Sometimes, there are discussions in the back about how many burgers should be grilled at a time. Peña follows the rules carefully. Then he draws the ire of those who don’t. And that’s a headache, too.

Me duele el cerebro,” he says. “My brain hurts.”

He gets headaches all the time. He doesn’t know why. It might be the beating he took in Nogales, Mexico, just before he crossed the border almost a year ago. It might be the memories of a terrible childhood. Or it might be the stress of the better life (though it’s a hard one) that he’s found in the United States.

To read Valeria Hernández's complete report, click here to see the story on Valley Fever, New Times' news blog.

My Voice Nation Help

He's not one of them, he's a prop. You should look at http://targetillegals.com and maybe you'll change your mind before you decide to support those 'so called" children.


Notice how they framed the photo to make the guy look small and vulnerable.  Maybe embed and MPEG so that violins play while you read the article?


Any American that sent their child unaccompanied across the country would be arrested for child abuse in a New York second.

The politicians care about the people in other countries more than the citizens of our own.

We're supposed to be the world's orphanage now?

Obama ran on hope and change but whenever something comes along all he does is ask for more money. What's so different about that? More like business as usual.


Too bad that he had to become a criminal upon entering our country ILLEGALLY!   And no doubt that whatever is the cause of the headache,  we the taxpayers will get to pay his medical bills as we all know that Obama has promised them jobs, welfare benefits, free medical, etc.    Even when our own kids have to do without.

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