The 17-year-old Honduran girl and her 10-month-old daughter are two of 68,000 children who have crossed the border into the United States alone, fleeing a region rife with violence.
The young mother and daughter were ushered into a crowded “cooler,” a shelter at the border, where they stayed for 15 days before being transported to a different shelter in Arizona.
“They treated us bad,” the Honduran teenager said. “We slept on the floor, and it was very cold. They kept telling us, ‘Why are we here? This is not our country.’”
Out of the 2,252 minors in North Carolina, these two are an anomaly in that they received legal counsel when they arrived in the United States. For the remainder who struggle through the system without representation, deportation is often an inevitability.
“A priority for us is that they need legal counsel for their immigration hearing,” said Stacie Blake, Director of Government and Community Relations for USCRI. “That’s been an ongoing problem.”
Read the rest of this story featured in The Pendulum here.