My Alien Encounter
On the way downtown I found out his name "Benigno." He is Portuguese, and has been here for over a year on a tourist visa. For most of the past 12 months he worked day labor jobs using a phony social security number. His employer caught up with him at the end of the year and reluctantly let him go.
How does someone survive without being able to work a regular job?
For now Benigno is sleeping in a camper/van loaned to him by someone in Tukwila. He is applying for hotel/casino work. He has high hopes, since he met another illegal Portuguese person working at such a place.
Later in the week we met so I could show him around town. Shelter, day program, work program. He is fluent in all the Latin languages. He is young and personable and clean-cut.
He came to the US naively believing he would be able to earn enough money to buy a house back home. Now he's stuck.
Do you think you know what homelessness is all about?
When we debate immigration policy, we have to figure out what to do with the Benignos once they're here, doing jobs most Americans don't want.