Jeff and Kevin Quintero, 15-year-old twins from Staten Island, have heard the stories about the perils of the life their family lived on a farm in Mexico.
“Bandits would try to steal their crops, attack them,” Kevin explains, and justice was not easily obtained: “Corruption was still in the police force.”
Wanting better, their parents came to the United States, where the boys were born. Both now attend Curtis High School.
The boys’ parents — father Jose, who works construction, and mother Maria, who cleans houses — are undocumented, but their children received citizenship at birth.
The knowledge of their parents’ struggles informs the Staten Island brothers’ work with the immigrant advocacy group Make the Road New York.
Jeff gets angry when he hears political rhetoric that he feels unfairly targets Mexican immigrants.
“They’re just trying to drive us away from what little help we can get here in America,” he laments.
Kevin dismisses Donald Trump’s immigrant-bashing as the words of “a simpleton.”
“So many undocumented families are fighting for their lives,” he said.
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