At first glance, Daniel’s case would seem to belong in immigration. Daniel was six years old when his mother left him with his grandparents so she could go to find work in the United States. His father had left the family two years earlier and never came back. When Daniel was diagnosed with an immune illness after a long bout of sickness at age 10, his mother reached out to her estranged husband for financial help; he refused. In the meantime, Daniel’s grandfather was becoming more and more abusive. Daniel’s only protection was his grandmother; when she died in 2013, he decided to join his mother in the United States.

Daniel did not have the money to pay a coyote to smuggle him to the United States. So he did what an estimated 400,000 young men do every year: he rode the Beast. The Beast, also known as The Train of the Dead, is a series of freight trains that traverse 1,400 miles, starting from southern Mexico and going all the way to the Texas border. To board, you have to jump and latch on to a moving train car, then climb onto the top and lay flat, hoping you don’t become one of the many who end up maimed, kidnapped, or robbed. [Read more] – Michael’s Blog