Last Wednesday, 31-year-old Alonso Guillén, a Lufkin, Texas Dreamer, construction worker and weekend disc jockey known as DJ Ocho, left work with two friends and a small borrowed boat, driving south for two hours to join rescue efforts for stranded survivors of Hurricane Harvey. Alonso and Tomas Carreon, one of his fellow volunteers, were both born in a Mexican border town along the Rio Grande, came to the U.S. as children with their parents, and grew up as undocumented immigrants. Tomas, who worked as a mechanic, had married, had kids, and become a permanent resident.
Alonso didn't. He graduated from high school, attended Catholic church, registered for selective service and got a work permit; as neither a U.S. resident nor citizen, he was protected from deportation through DACA. His mother, facing visa problems, had been forced to return to Mexico, but his father Jesus had become a permanent resident and was legally living in Texas; before the trip to Houston, worried about the dangerous flooding, he urged his son not to go. But Alonso wanted to help. Evidently late Wednesday night, his boat hit a bridge and capsized in the turbulent waters of Cyprus Creek. Searchers found only one of the three young men, clinging to a tree; Tomas and Alonso - both, said a relative, with "a servant’s heart” - went missing.
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