Sara Reunited with 5 Year Old Daughter Alida After 9 Month Separation
Houston, TX
   
 
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This morning at 11am CST at George Bush International Airport Sara Caal was reunited with her 5 year old daughter, Alida, after a 9 month long separation. We tweeted the reunification journey.

 

Sara is a 21 year old indigenous Keqchi woman from Guatemala and was released last night from the Pearsall Detention center after 9 months of detention. Alida was released to her dad in Houston in early June but because Alida went to live with her dad, Sara then lost all of the protections of the "Ms. L" lawsuit and was not eligible to be reunified with her daughter or even to get a new credible fear interview.

 

Before making the long journey to the U.S. border, Sara was brutally attacked in Guatemala on account of being an indigenous woman, and Alida witnessed much of the violence against her mom. While in detention Sara was made to have her initial credible fear interview in Spanish despite making very clear to the officer that she only speaks Keqchi. When she sought to have an immigration judge review the negative credible fear decision, the judge (appearing by televideo), tore up her interview, threw it in the trash, and told her that she was lying.

 

When our attorney, Kat Russell, sought a re-interview with the Houston Asylum Office, our request was denied without explanation. We believe if Sara was able to speak Spanish she would not have been detained for 9 months

 

Alida hadn’t seen her mom since June and has had a hard time. She has been scared to go to school because students and teachers ask her where her mom is, and she didn’t want to say that her mom is "in jail."  In November ICE called our attorney and told her that they were going to deport Sara, and the only reason that they did not do it at the time is because Sara stood up for herself and told them that RAICES told her not to let them deport her.  

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