Tyche Hendricks in The San Francisco Chronicle:
As night fell and migrants at the shelter behind the Holy Family Catholic Church prepared to bed down, Roberto Valenzuela threw his powerful baritone into the old folk song “Cielito Lindo.”
“Ay, ay, ay, ay!”
The other men — most of whom had landed at the shelter after being caught by the U.S. Border Patrol as they tried to cross into the United States — paused to listen: “Canta y no llores!” Valenzuela sang. “Sing and don’t cry!”
Valenzuela, 47, had made his living for years as a mariachi in Phoenix and Los Angeles. He would head north illegally for a few months and be set for the rest of the year. But by late fall, the Border Patrol had caught him twice and he planned to try crossing once more before heading home to Huachinera, two hours south.