Pubdate: Thu, 3 Jul 2008
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Page: B - 6
Copyright: 2008 Hearst Communications Inc.
Author: Henry Morales


Editor - "City's Shield of Migrants Probed" (June 29) misses some 
crucial facts. First, a large percentage of these children are 
victims of human trafficking: abused, abandoned, neglected and seeking refuge.

Second, we must celebrate and be proud of the fact that our city has 
the courage to treat these children as the victims that they are and 
not as hardened criminals.

Rather than shedding light on these children's suffering, the article 
fuels hysteria about gangs, drug trafficking and youth. As a youth 
outreach worker, I've heard the tragic stories of why these young 
people have left their homes. Many youth come from rural areas where 
most families are forced to live on less than a dollar a day.

Tragically, these youth are also the victims of a failed immigration 
policy that forces millions of people into jobs in the shadows of our 
society - and as this article points out, some do fall into the local 
drug trade.

However, this is a small minority and they do not, as the article 
argues, constitute an organized crime syndicate but are low-level 
street-corner dealers.

San Francisco has always been known as a city with a heart - let's 
have a heart for these young victims of negligence and inequality.

Henry Morales

Central American Resource Center

San Francisco
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake