The street was one that Saul Martinez traveled often. He took it on his way to school, where he would avoid gang members, fearing recruitment. And he'd use it on his way home, where he'd grab his bicycle only to receive death threats from gang members during his ride.
And one day, on that street in El Salvador, the same street he lived on, he saw a man die after being shot multiple times.
Wearing a crisp button-down shirt and khaki pants, the 15-year-old calmly told his story to a panel of Congress members at a Congressional Progressive Caucus ad-hoc hearing Tuesday afternoon. He told of living in fear in a country where gang members recruit young children and where a refusal can have serious consequences.
In April, he crossed the U.S.-Mexico border, just one of the tens of thousands of children fleeing Central America's Northern Triangle to seek refuge in the United States.
"I don't want to go back to my country because I don't want to die," he told the caucus in Spanish Tuesday afternoon.
A hearing of this kind is largely symbolic. But after the last few weeks of political scrambling over an emergency supplemental bill, the ad-hoc hearing put the children back in the spotlight.
On Tuesday, the border crisis was a centerpiece on Capitol Hill, much like it's been since the July Fourth recess. House Republicans unveiled a plan to allocate $659 million for emergency supplemental funds. The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing to examine the White House's policies for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. And political sparring ensued over the possibility of the Senate attempting to add comprehensive immigration reform to any House-passed bill.