Find a back issue

Making Dallas Even Better

Think of the Kids Crossing the Border as the New Lost Boys

Sherry Jacobson has a piece in today’s paper wherein she talks to Gabe Anieu Maguil and Augustino Gend, two of the Lost Boys of Sudan who took refuge in Dallas a decade or so ago, after being forced to flee from their home country because of a violent civil war. Maybe it won’t make up your mind regarding the current border situation, but Maguil and Gend lend an interesting — and, I feel, necessary — perspective.

Maguil suggested taking a longer view of the current border crisis. These are children so eager to come to America, he said, that they will travel hundreds of arduous miles, across countries and borders.

They are no different, he said, than he was years ago.

“If they’re here, they can better themselves,” Maguil said. “And someday, they will pay taxes. They will be Americans.”

Earlier in the piece, Maguil talked about how “the United States embraced” him and his fellow Lost Boys, and he is right about that. Dallas, especially, was very welcoming to the Lost Boys, and it has long done great work regarding refugees from other countries, too. I’m not saying Maguil and Gend are the only voices to listen to. Just saying don’t ignore them.

  • billholston

    Think of it this way, Those kids from Sudan walked to the nearest countries (Ethiopia and Kenya), escaping violence and entered those countries illegally. They were then treated as refugees. That is the point people are making when they say these kids from Honduras and El Salvador are refugees not immigrants.

  • A. B.

    The Sudanese refugees generally ended up in refugee camps for years and sought assistance from the UN after crossing the border into Ethiopia and Kenya, something that is being proposed with the current situation. The refugee camps were right across the border. In this case, that means they could be located in Mexico or even Guatemala and Belize (possibly). They also emigrated to other countries in addition to the US (Australia, for example). The situation is similar, but not exactly the same.