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Immigrant Of The Day: Jorge Sactic-Espaņa (Don Jorge) of Guatemala

by Kevin R. Johnson

Jorge Sactic-Espaņa (Don Jorge) (Guatemala)

Our Immigrant of the Day is Jorge Sactic-Espaņa, known among the Latino community in Prince George County, Virginia, as Don Jorge.  Don Jorge is from Guatemala and, although he is not an elected official, he regularly dispenses aid and advice.  "His Chapina Bakery is a popular gathering spot in the two-story shopping center, the epicenter of the large Hispanic enclave in this part of Prince George's County. Sactic's cachitos and gallinitas are known as the most authentic Latin American sweet buns around. But it's his standing as a onetime illegal immigrant who has mastered life in the United States that makes him a bridge between newcomers and old-timers, Latinos and gringos -- the unofficial mayor of La Union Mall."

At age 25, Don Jorge swam across the Rio Grande at Brownsville, Texas in 1985.  "The Guatemalan civil war was raging, and college students were targets of right-wing hit squads. He abandoned his studies in economics and fled north."  His story is a classic story of a political refugee -- one of many thousands -- who fled Central America in the 1980s.

See Steve Hendrix's story in the Washington Post about Don Jorge.

December 30, 2009 in Current Affairs | Permalink

About The Author

Kevin R. Johnson is currently Dean, Professor of Law and Chicana/o Studies, and the Mabie-Apallas Public Interest Law Chair holder at the University of California at Davis. He is also one of the editors of ImmigrationProf Blog.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.