The Impact of Immigration on Children: The Story of Enrique

1. Introduction

In her book, "Enrique's Journey: The Boy Left Behind", Sonia Nazario tells the story of a young boy named Enrique who sets off on a dangerous journey from Honduras to the United States in search of his mother. Enrique is just one of many children who are caught in the middle of the immigration debate in the United States.

2. The difficulties Enrique and his mother face

Enrique and his mother, Lourdes, face many difficulties in their home country of Honduras. They live in a poor, rural area and Lourdes is unable to find work that will support her and her son. As a result, Enrique is often left alone while his mother works. He becomes involved with gangs and is eventually deported from the United States.

Lourdes also faces challenges in the United States. She is undocumented and does not have access to many basic services. She is also constantly worried about being deported and leaving her son behind.

3. The journey to the United States

Enrique decides to set out on a journey to find his mother in the United States. He hitchhikes his way north, riding on top of trains and walking for days at a time. He faces many dangers along the way, including being robbed, beaten, and raped.

4. The challenges Enrique faces in the United States

When Enrique finally arrives in the United States, he faces many challenges. He does not speak English and has no money or place to stay. He is also afraid of being caught by the police and deported back to Honduras.

5. The impact of immigration on children

The story of Enrique highlights the difficulties that children face when their parents immigrate to another country. Children are often left behind in their home countries or separated from their parents during the journey. They may also face challenges in their new country, such as language barriers and poverty.
The story of Enrique also highlights the importance of family. Despite the challenges he faces, Enrique is determined to find his mother and reunite with her. His journey shows the strength of the bond between a parent and child and the lengths that a child will go to be with their family.


Enrique's journey is a story of hope, determination, and resilience. Despite the many challenges he faced, Enrique was able to make it to the United States and start a new life.

Nazario uses language to bring Enrique's story to life by painting a vivid picture of his journey and the challenges he faced. She also highlights the importance of family and community in Enrique's life.

Enrique's experience illustrates the challenges faced by undocumented immigrants in the United States. He had to overcome difficult obstacles such as crossing dangerous borders and living in hiding. 4. Some of the risks associated with undertaking a dangerous journey like Enrique did include being injured or killed, being detained by authorities, or becoming lost in unfamiliar territory.

People are motivated to leave their homes and families behind in search of a better life elsewhere because they want to escape poverty, violence, or political persecution. They may also be seeking opportunities that are not available in their home countries.

Separation from loved ones can impact those who remain behind emotionally, financially, and psychologically. It can be difficult for them to cope with the loss of a loved one and they may struggle to support themselves financially without help from family members abroad.

There is hope for change when it comes to America's broken immigration system. Enrique's story is a reminder that people are willing to risk everything for a chance at a better life. There are many people working to reform the system so that it is more just and humane.