I am currently representing dozens of asylum seekers and their children. Here are some of their stories and the challenges they face.
2 children I represent as legal counsel are currently being held at the Cayuga Center (New York City). are girls aged 6 and 9. Their mother is an asylum seeker detained in Laredo, TX, and their father is asylum seeker free in Galveston. They were separated on their asylum journey. The father with a 3 month child was allowed passage, and theirmother with 6 and 9 year olds was arrested and their children separated and jailed when she petitioned for asylum.
I am working with an asylum seeker client who is 8 months pregnant. ICE has totally ignored my petition to free her on humanitarian grounds and is willing to place my client and her baby in danger. Why? Supposedly to keep her from absconding. I say supposedly, because there is not much danger of a woman in this condition from absconding. Thisis yet one more example of ICE terrorizing refugees to send a message.
I have a client who’s 23 week old baby was taken from her. She was not told who was taking care of them, or where they were being taken to. 23 weeks old.
I have an 80 year old Honduran client who was sent for by her asylum protected children in Texas. She was jailed at the border upon petitioning for asylum. She is in failing health, has poor eyesight, and was hospitalized for 7 days shortly upon her arrest. I petitioned for her release on humanitarian grounds, as jail is causing a deterioration of her health. She is suffering from bronchitis, is senile, can't see at night and is in constant danger of falling. My petition was denied because ICE is supposedly afraid an 80 year old suffering from old age will abscond.
Here is an imagethat my 6 yr old client Samir drew for his mother during a recent visit I had with him. He said it shows his “mami”, Levis, with muscles because she is strong, andnd with a sword to make sure he is never taken again from her if he is brought back to her (as he hopes).
What makes this especially cruel is that we separate the families of refugees fleeing violence and seeking asylum after braving a hazardous journey. It is the mark of a brutal fascist state. Armed border guards assisted by the military in abducting the children of people who are coming to this country to find safety and freedom.
I will continue to fight for a better America.