[Note that this missive was translated from the Spanish, and my advice was then in turn converted into the same Romance language for my young correspondent's benefit, by a local middle school Spanish teacher in gratitude for my once having helped him devise an "oral examination" extra-credit program for a some of his female students.]
I am a fifteen-year old girl who crossed the U.S. border a few weeks ago and immediately turned myself over to a border agent, a gringo who was off duty at the time and so not in uniform. Luckily, he spoke Spanish and so was able to identify himself as such to me.
I guess it was lucky for me that he is the one who found me. He did me a great favor and kept me out of the system, taking me instead to his own house, right here on the isolated ranch on which he first encountered me. I had been separated from my group, and my coyote disappeared the second we got across the river, so I was quite alone. I could have died of thirst, or ended up in the efficient ICE system for deportation.
Tio [Uncle], as he likes me to call him, has told me what is happening to other children arriving in the U.S. right now, how they are being summarily rounded up and returned to their own countries within twenty four hours of apprehension. To think, if Tio hadn't decided to handle my situation privately, I'd already be back in Tegucigalpa. My mother had scrimped and saved to find the money to pay the coyote to get me out of there. She had been afraid the local gangs would eventually force me into prostitution like happened to my older cousin. What a disaster it would be if I got sent back there!
Anyway, Tio was so moved by my story, and so happy that I had been able to escape a potential life in a brothel, that he basically fell in love with me. Yes, Stepdaddy, that very first night he became my first lover. I don't think I love him back, but I have come to enjoy the things we do together -- all the things we do, many of which I didn't even know men and girls could do together!
What I don't like so much is doing those things with his fellow officers. He says they are helping him keep my secret, so when one of them comes to the house, Tio says it's only right that I share my body with him in gratitude. It's surprising how many colleagues Tio has -- all shapes, races, ages and sizes, and of course all of them are men. Many don't look to be in a good enough physical condition to serve as a border agent, but I don't know much about that. They're never in uniform or anything -- I guess trying to help me stay hidden by being discrete. Anyway, I've shown a lot of gratitude over the past few weeks -- sometimes to several different men in a single day.
Besides being so generous to me, Tio is clearly a generous man to everybody. For instance, he has apparently lent money to all of his colleagues. This is why, he tells me, they always give him cash when they drop by. Making payments on these past debts, he says. Some of these loans must have been large, because I have seen some of these colleagues make hundred dollar payments almost every day or so for weeks now!
He is so generous, in fact, that once he saw my photo of my fourteen-year-old younger sister, he suggested he arrange with a coyote to bring her up to join us, and thus save her, too, from a future in the brothels.
Stepdaddy, I want to help my sister, and I wouldn't even mind if Tio asks her to show him gratitude, but I don't want her to also have to show gratitude to all his colleagues, like I have to. In fact, I know it's a small price to pay to stay out of prostitution, but I'd prefer it if Tio would just keep my body for his sole pleasure, you know? What should I do?
Enclosed please find a bus ticket, some traveling cash, and a cell phone. I believe it is time you left Tio free to help the next young girl who wanders across the border and onto his ranch. You shouldn't tie up his "generosity."
I think you have two good options.
You could turn yourself in -- you'll find that contrary to the impression you have, deportations are not happening with youngsters like you. However, the living arrangements are, perforce, chaotic and unpleasant for most.
Alternatively, you could use the bus ticket and come live with me. I'll even arrange for your sister to join us. And I'll never ask you, or her, to demonstrate your gratitude to anyone but me.