Silvia is a 33 year-old immigrant from Mexico, and has lived in this country since she was 16 years old. She came over alone to be with her father who was working in California, and was denied from the DACA program because of a couple month period where she could not prove she was still in the country once she moved to Georgia. Silvia has 5 children who are American citizens and recently was legally married to Scott, an American citizen.
On Thursday May 30th at 5:02pm Silvia was running errands with her children in the car (ages 12, 10, 5, 19 months, and 4 months). The two youngest were asleep, her 10 year old went in the store with her, and she left the younger ones with their older siblings with the windows down and parked in the shade and ran into a quick-mart to pick up a few grocery items. Immediately after Silvia walked away from the vehicle, the attendant noticed the unattended children and called the police.
11 minutes later the police arrived at 5:13, and after another 3 minutes Silvia returned to her car. Silvia was arrested and accused of four felonies of second-degree child abuse--one felony for each child (in Georgia, a child is anyone under 18, these charges are punishable by 5-10 years in prison for each count).
Silvia is currently being held in jail where her five children are not allowed to see her. The only visitation she can have is during a 2-hour window from 10-12 on Saturdays where only adults are permitted to visit. She does not have access to basic items that she needs such as clean underwear, toothbrush, deodorant, and feminine hygiene products. She is not allowed to be given any of these from outside of the prison. These items can only be purchased from the commissary on Thursdays, so she is forced to go without them until then. She has to sleep on a mattress on the floor.
Silvia and her husband Scott have been saving up for the $8,000 cost of starting the process of getting legal paperwork to get her residency, but the $3,500 the family has managed to save so far had to be used to secure a lawyer to help her fight these criminal charges.
ICE has put a detainer on her for deportation so if Scott bails her out then she will be taken by ICE to a detention center to await a hearing with an immigration court. Bail is set to $26,600.
This family needs help. These children need their mother. This family doesn’t have the money to help defend her and prevent this from happening. The lawyer to fight the criminal charges will be $10,000. If they are successful in getting the charges reduced or dropped, they will begin a costly legal battle to prevent her from being deported. With Silvia in jail, her husband is now forced to purchase child care, $200 per child per week, on top of the legal fees.
We are respectfully setting the financial goal of $25,000 to help raise enough to keep this family together. This should pay for the families legal fees, child care so Scott can continue to work and make money to pay the rent and living expenses, and any legal fees that will follow to help prevent the destruction of this family.
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