Young people often show up at the Central American Resource Center in Los Angeles because they and their parents face horrific choices.
For instance, a 14-year-old client appeared after his father was murdered by gangs in Honduras. His mother was so traumatized from witnessing the murder that she is confined to a psychiatric hospital. Then the thugs tried to force the youngster to join their criminal enterprise and beat him up.
“It’s either stay and die, or risk and come,” said Martha Arévalo, executive director of the center, which helped the young boy with legal services after he entered the U.S. without immigration documents.