Mary Lou was surprised. "So how old were you when you came here?"
"So you were around here to go to school."
"Uh-huh. I graduated from Western High School." Lucia took a bite of her muffin.
Western was the downtown high school, not too far from the mall they were in. The women, Mary Lou thought, must live close by.
Suddenly Mary Lou witnessed what appeared to be the loss of consciousness in Lucia --- not in the sense she went to sleep or anything like that though. The young woman just became quiet and her eyes started blinking quickly, she had a blank stare, her eyes rolled back briefly, and her lips seemed to vibrate, but only very slightly. It frightened Mary Lou because she didn't know what to do. It lasted only half a minute or so, though, and nothing serious happened. When it ended, Lucia merely picked up her muffin, and took another bite. It was as if nothing had happened to her. She was unaware of it having happened to her.
It must have been some kind of seizure, Mary Lou thought. I wonder why she has that happening? I wonder if it's some kind of medical condition; something that goes with her right-sided partial paralysis. She felt inclined to ask Lucia if she was all right, but then didn't. She didn't want to scare or worry the young woman, who must know she had this propensity. Obviously, if there was something that could be done about it, she would be doing it. It was hard to believe, though, that Isabel could leave Lucia here alone knowing she had seizures. Of course, maybe there was no choice.
Mary Lou decided there was a lot about undocumented aliens she didn't know. She needed to get serious about researching. Not only did she need to research, but she needed to figure out for herself what she thought about the whole subject of illegal immigration.
"Do you have any children? Lucia asked Mary Lou.
The girl nodded.
"No. I'm not married."
"How come you're not married?"
"I guess I'm just not the marrying type," Mary Lou said. "So do you and your mother get a day off tomorrow? You know, not have to come to the mall."
"No. We will be here tomorrow, too. Just like other days except the mall has different hours tomorrow. Do you work tomorrow?"
"No, not usually. I have to go to a meeting related to work tomorrow. I probably won't be in the food court tomorrow, though. So I guess I'll see you Monday."
"That'll be nice. I will try to read more of that book you gave me."
Everything was pretty much tied up and done on the transfer of all the cases she couldn't complete and on the cases she could. She was essentially done now and ready to start working for Mark. That would start, she guessed, tomorrow or Monday. She wasn't sure about it starting tomorrow.
Instead of going home early, though, Mary Lou went in the break room and started looking around on the computer in there relative to immigration. She learned that in 2006 it was estimated that there were some twelve million undocumented residents from other countries in the United States, the bulk of them in California, almost one-fourth of them there. Texas was next with about an eighth of the undocumented residents residing there.
Mary Lou wondered if much had changed since 2006. The United States economy had gone sour. It seemed that might have staunched the inflow and maybe even contributed to some of the people going back where they came from. On the other hand, if the economy in the U.S. had gone bad, it probably was worse in the countries south of the border. Additionally, Mary Lou had read how much crime along the border had increased relative to the drug trade and the Mexican drug cartels.