Would you ever report an undocumented immigrant

"They are good people who all work very hard"


Read on one side

Arturo's story exemplifies the false incentives that arise from the nonsense of American law. With the temporary work permit that he received after the raid in the slaughterhouse, he not only found a new job, he also qualified for a state-secured real estate loan for minorities. Arturo only had to show a job, a residence permit or equity were not necessary. In a partnership you would mixed messages call, you don't know whether the other wants you or not. Arturo, the illegal, understood the law to mean that America wanted him and his family despite the deportation process. In 2004 the Menendez bought a house for $ 68,000. For Engelhardt, it's all madness.

Engelhardt has known Sacorro's family for many years. The children came to him for Taekwondo lessons, Arturo often repaired his car after work. Engelhardt says again and again: "They are good people who all work very hard." The family always took full responsibility for their decision to enter the country illegally, says Engelhardt, and no one has ever railed against the American system. It almost sounds a bit as if he admires a hardness in them towards himself that he increasingly misses in Americans.

As teenagers, the children already had all jobs. Saccoro worked ten-hour shifts on the kill floor, where the pigs are dismantled into their individual parts in the freezing cold - and this six days a week. Because Arturo, her husband, took refuge more and more often in alcohol and drugs. The kill floor is the hardest assembly line work in which each worker only makes one movement. Over 1,600 pigs are cut up in this way every day. Sacorro's job was to cut out the pig's ribs with two cuts of a sharp knife.

In 2008 Sacorro was found out with her false papers. Actually, she should have been deported as a result. But the judge didn't see her as a criminal, but above all a hard-working mother and let her go. In addition to the legal one, your case raises a moral question above all: Can you even deport an illegal person after ten years? For Sacorro, the decision was a sign: the Americans may not want us, but they need us.

Sacorro owned a home, paid taxes, had a job and raised four children in Iowa. There was no way for them to get a legal residence permit. This is almost impossible for undocumented immigrants. You can actually only marry an American (Saccoro didn't know any), apply for asylum (only in 2.3 percent of the cases, Mexicans were granted asylum in 2013) or appeal against their deportation.

The children of the immigrants stay, the others leave the city

In 2010 attorney Engelhardt applied for asylum for Sacorro. He knew she didn't have much of a chance, but he was still hopeful. There are only two immigration judges in all of Iowa, and they can't handle the many applications. Over 685,000 cases have now pent up across America. Attorney Engelhardt expected that there would be no trial for a long time. And he was right. The negotiation has been postponed for eight years.

Since the process started, Sacorro has had a temporary residence permit. With the help of her daughter, she refinanced the loan for the house. Her husband was caught on drugs a few years ago and deported.

However, the tenacity of people like Sacorro, whom Engelhardt so admires, also has a downside. It keeps driving wages in Denison down.