A Divided Community

By Lawrence Hardy

She hasn’t told her 7-year-old, but how could the boy not know? He’s a bright child, after all, and as a Head Start student in Prince William County, Va., he had translated for his teacher and other children even though he’d only been away from Mexico for three years.

The boy asks his mother about the monitoring bracelet around his father’s ankle. He knows she is scared. He sees the family’s belongings, packed in cardboard boxes and bulging black trash bags, and knows change is coming.

 “At the beginning, when we moved here, everything was different,” the boy’s mother, a small, soft-spoken woman, says through an interpreter. “But now, things have gotten very tough.”

Tough because of the immigration raid that resulted in her husband’s arrest. Tough because, as of mid-June, the family did not know if they could remain in this country. And tough because many Prince William residents have stated publicly that people like them should go back to their own country. 

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