*This is a story used with permission and based on the experiences of an undocumented immigrant.
Jesus said, “I was a stranger and you didn’t welcome me in…”
Unable to care for him, Jesus’ parents left. What is a child to do with no parents? For a few years, Jesus found refuge with his grandparents. When they found out he was gay, their kindness ran out. Jesus went to the busiest street he could find and started to beg. Living in Lima’s trash, he refused to die. Unsure who to tell about his sexuality, Jesus kept quiet.
The lady that offered him work and a place to stay saved his life. The dream slowly turned into a nightmare. When people started to find out that he was gay, Jesus was confronted with extreme persecution. Trying to go to school, he had to dodge the gangs who sought to eradicate all gays in Lima. After he got stabbed, Jesus got tossed out of his house. The lady felt like it was no longer safe for him to be there. Running out of options and only able to afford a small place, Jesus knew he had to flee. Before he could, the beatings turned into a daily occurrence. With his life in danger, Jesus prayed for God to save him. When he finally saved the money to get out, Jesus thought the United States would offer him safety.
Flying to Hermosillo, Jesus worked his way up to the border. The gangs and cartels tormented him the entire time. When he paid someone to take him across, he was put into a holding house along the border with no food or water for six days. With a gun pointed at his face, Jesus was forced to do things that he didn’t want to do. As much as it hurt, he was more hurt by the things the children were forced to do. When he was moved to a holding house closer to the border, he could barely stand. Finally, the group was given a little bit of water and told to walk across the border. It wasn’t long before the Border Patrol picked Jesus up. The pain only increased.
Having traveled thousands of miles for the right to love freely, Jesus was placed into a cold and lonely detention facility in Arizona. Depressed and feeling abandoned by God, Jesus prayed for help. Targeted for being gay, he could get no relief. At 22, Jesus couldn’t figure out how he ended up in this nightmare. It was tough to apply for asylum, Jesus cried out for help. The judge is known as tough on all people…especially LGBT persons. Will he be sent back to torture and maybe even death? Hitting his knees, Jesus prayed with all the strength he could muster, “Save this nation from the greed of its borders.”
Jesus is named Rudy.