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时间:2018-07-08 03:17来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]

Tornillo, Texas: A Small US Town and a Big Crisis

Tornillo, Texas, is a small farming community in the southwestern United States. It sits along the Mexican border, a short drive from the city of El Paso in West Texas.

A month ago, the federal government chose Tornillo as the place to set up 450 beds for immigrant children. The small town is providing temporary housing for children who were separated from their families as a part of the government’s policy on migrants.

More than 350 youngsters moved in on June 14. Since then, the town has become the center of a national debate over illegal immigration.

The 1,600 citizens of Tornillo have seen thousands of protestors and near daily visits from officials at all levels of government.

U.S. lawmakers, Texas officials, human rights activists1 and others have gone there and visited the children, mostly teenaged boys.

At the same time, local farm workers continue their daily routine. Some water crops as buses carrying immigrant children pass through Tornillo.

“It’s a peaceful town, not a lot goes on,” Pablo Barcenas told the El Paso Times newspaper. “It’s a nice place to grow up. You can go outside and ride your bike. Everybody knows everybody,” he added.

Barcenas lives and works about 400 kilometers away, in Odessa, Texas, but returns to Tornillo as often as he can. He said he was unhappy by the new tent city and the politics behind it.

Last month, President Donald Trump2 signed an order to end the policy of separating children from parents accused of entering the U.S. illegally. As a result, the military is preparing nearby Fort Bliss3 and Goodfellows Air Force Base to house tens of thousands of asylum4 seekers and illegal immigrants who crossed the border as families.

Last week, a federal judge in California ruled that the government must quickly reunite migrant children with their parents. The Tornillo shelter is set to close in July after the children are returned to their families.

In town, few people will ask out loud why their small, quiet community was chosen to house the immigrant families.

County Commissioner5 Vince Perez called the tent city "disturbing" and said it will likely to cause long-lasting psychological harm to the children.

"This is a practice that really amounts to government abuse and in many respects, I feel, a form of psychological torture," he said.

Perez added that he visited the shelter back in 2016 when it was first created to house immigrant families that had been arrested.

"The tents are air conditioned and weren't ideal conditions, but the federal government was trying to do something to help address the influx6 of Central American migrants coming to the U.S.," Perez said. "But it was keeping the family unit together while it awaited a civil hearing."

Perez said he and his office are trying to get as much information as possible to see if they can assist with reuniting the children with their parents.

Former state representative Inocente "Chente" Quintanilla also is critical of the tent city. He believes Tornillo was chosen because of its new port of entry, which opened in late 2014.

Illegal immigration is a difficult issue in a town where half of locals are foreign-born, according to U.S. Census7 Bureau records.

"I have mixed feelings because I know what my dad went through to bring us to the United States," Quintanilla said. "We were here illegally for eight years."

Quintanilla's father was a farm worker and his family lived on the land where he worked.

In 1951, his father was told if they moved back to Mexico they could begin the process to get visas and live legally in the United States. At the time, Quintanilla was in the first grade.

"The Border Patrol came and picked us up and took us to a house my dad had built in Caseta, Mexico," just across the border from Tornillo, he said. "It took almost a year to fix the papers.

Mario Garcia, 75, who has lived in Tornillo for 25 years also understands the difficulties. He came to the United States illegally after his family's store burned down in Mexico.

Garcia went from working in a store to working in the fields of California. He later became a U.S. citizen. At work, he became a supervisor8 responsible for up to 5,000 workers.

"I can't say anything good or bad" about the immigration situation, he said.

"When one is in dire9 need, you want to do anything to improve the situation," he said. "Maybe in another place you think 'I can find food' and 'where I am at, I could die.' When you're in that situation, you're trying to do something for the future of your children, not yourself."

I'm Lucija Millonig.

Words in This Story

migrant – n. a person who moves from place to place to find work

tent – n. a temporary, outdoor shelter

bike – n. short for bicycle, a vehicle with two wheels

routine – n. a common or normal way of doing things; a series of things that are repeated

teenaged – adj. of or involving someone from 13 to 19 years of age

psychological – adj. of or relating to the mind of or relating to the mind

address – v. to deal with

influx – n. the arrival of a large number of people

dire – adj. very bad : causing great fear or worry


1 activists 90fd83cc3f53a40df93866d9c91bcca4     
n.(政治活动的)积极分子,活动家( activist的名词复数 )
  • His research work was attacked by animal rights activists . 他的研究受到了动物权益维护者的抨击。
  • Party activists with lower middle class pedigrees are numerous. 党的激进分子中有很多出身于中产阶级下层。 来自《简明英汉词典》
2 trump LU1zK     
  • He was never able to trump up the courage to have a showdown.他始终鼓不起勇气摊牌。
  • The coach saved his star player for a trump card.教练保留他的明星选手,作为他的王牌。
3 bliss JtXz4     
  • It's sheer bliss to be able to spend the day in bed.整天都可以躺在床上真是幸福。
  • He's in bliss that he's won the Nobel Prize.他非常高兴,因为获得了诺贝尔奖金。
4 asylum DobyD     
  • The people ask for political asylum.人们请求政治避难。
  • Having sought asylum in the West for many years,they were eventually granted it.他们最终获得了在西方寻求多年的避难权。
5 commissioner gq3zX     
  • The commissioner has issued a warrant for her arrest.专员发出了对她的逮捕令。
  • He was tapped for police commissioner.他被任命为警务处长。
6 influx c7lxL     
  • The country simply cannot absorb this influx of refugees.这个国家实在不能接纳这么多涌入的难民。
  • Textile workers favoured protection because they feared an influx of cheap cloth.纺织工人拥护贸易保护措施,因为他们担心涌入廉价纺织品。
7 census arnz5     
  • A census of population is taken every ten years.人口普查每10年进行一次。
  • The census is taken one time every four years in our country.我国每四年一次人口普查。
8 supervisor RrZwv     
  • Between you and me I think that new supervisor is a twit.我们私下说,我认为新来的主管人是一个傻瓜。
  • He said I was too flighty to be a good supervisor.他说我太轻浮不能成为一名好的管理员。
9 dire llUz9     
  • There were dire warnings about the dangers of watching too much TV.曾经有人就看电视太多的危害性提出严重警告。
  • We were indeed in dire straits.But we pulled through.那时我们的困难真是大极了,但是我们渡过了困难。
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