When he thinks about the children he left behind in Mexico more than a decade ago, Jorge is at a loss for words.
His oldest daughter is 25 and the youngest, 20, while Jorge’s 23-year-old son is already a father himself.
Jorge said goodbye to his wife and kids in the summer of 2001 and crossed the border into the United States without documentation to work in construction. Since then, he has lived in Washington, working continuously and never being able to return home to see his family.
Now, Jorge is one of the immigrants who is starting to lose hope that the comprehensive immigration reform promised by politicians will ever come to pass.
“Just deception and lies….” says Jorge, 49, his breath showing in the cold air. “It’s their politics. They’re afraid of the consequences. It seems that nobody wants to take charge of this.”
Jorge’s story is one of the millions regarding immigration in this country. The hoped-for immigration reform has not been approved and 2013 is ending with many seeing no clear possibility that the situation of the estimated 11 million undocumented foreigners in this country will be rectified.
“Here most of the guys are undocumented,” said Conrado, a 62-year-old Honduran who regularized his immigration situation thanks to the fact that his brothers became nationalized. “There are many more being deported now.”
Since President Barack Obama entered the White House in 2009 the average number of annual deportations has risen to 400,000 people, an unprecedented figure.
Some analysts say that in 2014 there will no immigration reform either and that very probably it will not come to pass by the time Obama’s second term ends in January 2017.
The demonstrations, the hunger strikes and even the support of business interests seem - to many - to have resulted in little or nothing.