Safe ... for now

Pregnant mother who came to U.S. in migrant ‘caravan’ speaks about conditions in detention

Gabriela Hernandez and her two sons. (Twitter)

Gabriela Hernandez, a pregnant mother of two who says she fled Honduras after gangs threatened to kill her 6-year-old son, is being held by U.S. immigration and Customs (ICE) after she and the rest of a migrant caravan requested asylum on the U.S. border. President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Session have repeatedly condemned such migrant caravans, pledging to never allow them into the country and calling them “a deliberate attempt to undermine our laws and overwhelm our system.” But for now, Hernandez says that being in detention with ICE is far better than the grueling conditions she faced on the unforgiving journey to the U.S. — not to mention the dangers threatening her back at home.

Under a new administration policy, all migrants caught crossing the border illegally will be referred for federal prosecution — even if that means separating parents from their young children. But since Hernandez and her fellow migrants turned themselves into at the border post in Tijuana to claim asylum, she says that she and her children are being treated kindly as they go through the process of determining whether they will be granted asylum. Omar, 6, is attending school at an ICE detention center in Karnes City, Texas, that she said feels more like a “hotel” than a “jail,” and she said she was expected to be interviewed by immigration officials about her asylum application on Wednesday.

But the odds that Hernandez’s story will end happily are, unfortunately, stacked against her. More than 75 percent of asylum requests from people fleeing violence in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala were refused between 2011 and 2016, and if her asylum request is denied, both she and her children will be deported back to Honduras. But for now, they’re safe. And speaking to CNN, she says she believes that “the truth” will both protect and vindicate her.

Read the full story at CNN.


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