Last night my boss was hugging people before clocking out. He doesn't do that normally, but he's a nice guy, so I didn't think about it until I learned why...

He didn't tell me at first. Apart from the hug, he just said, “Goodbye-” like it was any other night. We work in a restaurant, he stuck around after his shift for a drink, while I stood at my station, pissed off because I had to wash floor mats a certain way.

It takes 30 minutes to spray mats. Black greasy water and foul-smelling filth get everywhere, especially on me, and when I’m done they’re still not clean, but that’s the way I’ve been told to do it, so I do.

15 minutes in, I noticed a change in everyone’s mood. The rest of the crew were silent, and I thought they felt sorry for me. So at the end of the night, when I ran into my boss again, I wanted to tell him how bad the team felt as I suffered through this horrible process. Then he explained, “Actually, I just found out that I’m being deported in three days.”

My boss in an American.

He was brought here when he was five, by parents escaping violence in their native country. He pays his taxes, he has a boyfriend who loves him, and he’s known no life other than life here.

But he was brought here illegally, and through no fault of his own he’s being sent away.

I hugged him again, and held him for as long as I could.

“You’ve been a good boss-” I said. “And you’re a good man.”

It’s awful that so many of us find such small things to complain about, when so many others face so much more.