Elizabeth Frankel Featured in Teach for America's Alumni Magazine
Elizabeth Frankel, Associate Director of the Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights, was featured in One Day, the Teach for America alumni magazine. Before law school, Frankel spent two years teaching English and English as a Second Language in the bilingual program at a public middle school in the South Bronx. The story, "Out of the Shadows," focuses on four people with personal ties to the experience of undocumented immigrants. Frankel is featured fourth, and writes in the first-person about her work with immigrant children who are detained without their parents.
My first year teaching, I had a student I’ll call Pedro. He was born in the United States. His father passed away when he was very young, and he had been raised by his mom, who was undocumented. Before I was his teacher, when Pedro was just 11, his mother, who worked in a local factory, was picked up in an immigration raid and placed in detention.
When no one showed to pick Pedro up from school, he was placed in a group home until the authorities could figure out what to do with him. Eventually, he was sent to live with an aunt and uncle in New York.
While this was all going on, his mother was placed in immigration detention in South Texas, right on the U.S./Mexico border. She spent six months in immigration detention, and because she was so far away, Pedro wasn’t able to visit her at all, which was really difficult for him.