Patterson High School

Undocumented immigrants in Baltimore seek refuge in soccer

Undocumented immigrants in Baltimore seek refuge in soccer

The Patterson High School soccer player pulled off his hoodie to reveal a dark blue jersey bearing the name of Neymar, his favorite player, and joined his teammates on the sunny practice field.

While the jersey offers the 17-year-old a connection, if mostly in his dreams, to the Brazilian superstar, the sport itself provides the undocumented immigrant from Guatemala something more tangible: a respite from anxiety at a time of stepped-up immigration enforcement.

“Maybe they can separate me from my mother. That makes me afraid,” said the player, who asked to be identified only as Duglas because of his immigration status.

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