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"I'm proud of him," says the judge who gave residency to an undocumented Latino. "I have worked hard," the migrant assures him.

2021-11-26T15:53:49.345Z

"Being a judge you have to follow the law, it is very stressful, you have to look at really nice people and say no, and then you have to look at people who are trash and say yes," explains the magistrate. But Óscar González has made him feel happy about his decision.



Óscar González cannot say that becoming a US citizen has been an easy road.

This 27-year-old Honduran has had to overcome numerous obstacles to get the life he now enjoys in Texas.

But one thing is clear to her: every day she works hard to prove to the immigration judge that she was granted residency that she deserved the opportunity to stay in the United States after having crossed the border illegally.

González decided to leave his country when he turned 17.

He had on his mind reuniting with his mother, who had left for the United States a decade earlier to provide for her family and offer her a better future.

He and his brothers were left in the care of their grandmother and for a long time they got ahead thanks to the money their mother sent them.

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Arrived the day to leave, the road frightened him.

"I prayed to God. I was afraid," he revealed in an interview with the KEN5 television channel.

He walked most of the miles that separated him from his objective, although he got on

La Bestia

, the dreaded train that crosses Mexico from south to north and that many immigrants take to approach the US border more quickly despite the risk involved by the accidents and assaults on board.

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González remembers it as a "terrifying" experience.

"They tell you not to sleep and the next thing you hear is someone falling into the wheels. It's horrible," he explained.

He eventually made it to Laredo, Texas, where he turned himself in to border agents, but during his arrest he was able to reunite with his mother.

Immigration Judge Richard Walton changed his life in 2012, when he granted him permanent residence.

"If that judge at that time had denied me that, I would not have the opportunity that I have now," he told KENS5.

"They would have sent me home. I don't know what my life would have been like. But this judge was able to give me the opportunity," he stressed.

Óscar González (left) and Richard Walton. 9News Denver / 9News Denver

"I'm proud of him"

The number of asylums granted rose from 29% to 37% with the arrival of the president, Joe Biden, to the White House, changing the trend that existed with the Donald Trump Administration, during which, for example, a 71% of petitions in 2020, according to the TRAC Immigration research center.

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Despite the figures showing a rise, the partial closure of immigration courts due to the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in fewer asylum seekers winning their cases.

González made the most of his change in immigration status: he finished high school, studied at university, obtained citizenship and got married.

Now he works as an import and export coordinator for airlines and shipping companies.

"I don't know where [the judge] is right now, but I would like to thank him for everything he approved that day, this is the result," he said.

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"This is what I have become. I am sure he will be proud, because I have worked hard for it and [although] he does not know it, I have tried to do my best," he added.

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Judge Richard Walton, who retired this summer after 26 years and therefore can speak more freely about his work, does not remember González's case in particular, but reflects: "People ask for another opportunity and [he] took it [ ...] He takes care of his family, loves someone. What more could you ask for? I'm proud of him. "

"I also had the opposite," he explained to the aforementioned media, "a young man his age who told me, 'if you sign that, you are signing my death warrant."

"Because, for legal reasons, he cannot grant all requests," he added, "being a judge you have to be fair, you have to follow the law, it is very stressful, you have to look at really nice and nice people and say no, and then you have to look at people who are trash and say yes, because you have sworn to obey the law. "

"I'd like to think that there are dozens and dozens more people who are very happy," Walton concludes.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2021-11-26

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