‘Death is waiting for him’
On the day he pleaded for his life in federal immigration court, Santos Chirino lifted his shirt and showed his scars.
PHOTO ABOVE: Santos Chirino’s daughter stands for a portrait in Virginia on Nov. 17. Chirino was murdered after being denied asylum and deported. Chirino’s daughter and son are awaiting their own immigration hearing.
Judge Thomas Snow watched the middle-aged construction worker on a big-screen television in Arlington, Va., 170 miles away from the immigration jail where Chirino was being held.
In a shaky voice, Chirino described the MS-13 gang attack that had nearly killed him, his decision to testify against the assailants in a Northern Virginia courtroom and the threats that came next. His brother’s windshield, smashed. Strangers snapping their photos at a restaurant. A gang member who said they were waiting for him in Honduras.
“I’m sure they are going to kill me,” Chirino, a married father of two teenagers, told the judge.
Maria Sacchetti, writing for The Washington Post, dives into the U.S. asylum problem.