Seventeen-year-old Miguel is killed while being held in Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s juvenile detainment center in Texas. Hayden McCarthy, a young D.C. lawyer known for thinking outside the box, is assigned as an advocate for justice for Miguel’s family. As her investigation deepens, so does the danger for everyone involved. Why did Miguel cross the border? How did he die? Who covered his death up and for what reason?
With immigration still a sensitive topic in politics these days, perhaps it might seem that the scenario in the book is a bit far-fetched. How likely is it that minors seeking refugee status be kept in what is essentially a juvenile prison? Unfortunately, it’s the new reality in the US.
In 2014, it became policy to detain and hold undocumented individuals in privately owned and maintained detention centers much like the one described in the book. Some of these detention centers have been specifically designed for the detainment of women and children. As of August 2016, more than 2,000 women and children are being detained in facilities, known as Family Residential Centers, both in Texas and Pennsylvania. Not surprisingly, the restrictive arrangements have caused irreparable mental harm to the mothers and children, some as young as 2 weeks old, who have fled their home countries in search of safety. (See Teen mother at immigrant detention center in Texas attempts suicide, Infants And Toddlers Are Coming To The U.S. To Work, According To Border Patrol, Is Texas Reforming or Enabling Immigration Lockups for Children?, Immigrant kids detained in warehouse of humanity)
Life for teenagers in the detention camps is not easy. (See What It’s Like to Be a Teen Living in an Immigration Detention Center, The Shame of America’s Family Detention Camps) Legal aid came too late for Miguel, which is not unusual for teenagers seeking asylum in the US. (See Teenage Immigrants Are Being Denied Asylum Because They Have No Right to an Attorney) It might seem that against such overwhelming odds, there can be no justice. Fortunately, there are lawyers, like Hayden McCarthy, who take it upon themselves to assist these children seeking asylum. Personally, I have the honor to know Nicole Ramos, whose tireless efforts have saved countless women and children. (See Modern Day Marias–Nicole the liberator)
Beyond Justice by Cara Putman, although fiction, resonated with life. It is yet another avenue that the voices of these lost children, like Miguel, can be heard. Once heard, their stories can be shared. Once their stories are known, action can be taken on their behalf. No child is Beyond Justice.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”