According to a story by CNN, the students at this school in Columbus, New Mexico not only have to drag themselves out of bed, eat breakfast, get dressed, do their hair, and make sure their shoes match — they also have to cross the U.S. border.
The majority of students at Columbus Elementary travel from Mexico every day, crossing the border and proving their U.S. citizenship just to go to school.
The students are indeed U.S. citizens, having been born in the U.S. mostly to parents who have since been deported. Their parents can only look on from outside this border crossing as their very young children do a very grown up thing: prove their citizenship. Because of longstanding laws in New Mexico, children who are U.S. citizens are entitled to a free education in the state no matter where they live. Every day these students are escorted by their parents from their town of Palomas, Mexico to a U.S. border crossing station in Columbus, NM. And every day, they have to deal with customs agents without the help of their parents, who cannot enter the border crossing station. Forget your passport that day? Well, you’re out of luck kid.
This CNN video zeroes in on Jesus Rodriguez’s daughters, JoAnna and Nahima, who struggle with knowing their father won’t be able to attend their graduation.
It’s a heartbreaking story, that although still very sad, at least students get to go home to their parents while they look for legal ways to come back to the U.S.