Between April and June 2018, more than 2,300 children have been taken from their parents by the United States government and placed in detention. We are working to end this nightmare and to reunite families, and have successfully reunited dozens of parents with their children.
Byron and his father David were forcefully separated at the border in May, 2018. David was deported to Guatemala a few days later and he was not given the opportunity to apply for asylum. In the meantime, little Byron has endured nine months of detention at 4 different shelters in Texas; he has been moved 3 times in the last 3 months. Byron deserves the opportunity to live in a safe, healthy, nurturing, and loving home which his parents have chosen for him according to the law. However, he ORR has refused to release him to the family designated by his parents, ignoring their statutory responsibility to “promptly” place Byron in the least restrictive setting that is in the best interest of the child. The legal team has filed a petition before the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas requesting Byron to be released to the sponsor family his parents have designated.
You can find the petition here.
The legal team is working pro bono but we are asking for your help and generosity to raise $10,000 to aid in the reunification of Byron and his father David. We are fighting on two fronts: Convince a federal judge to allow David to return to the U.S. to be reunited with Byron and apply for asylum and to convince a district court judge to have Byron released to the sponsor family designated by Byron’s parents while Byron waits for his dad’s return.
David & Byron's Story
In May of 2018, David and his 8-year-old son, Byron, traveled from a rural area of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala to the United Sates seeking protection from violence. Their difficult journey to the southern border had taken 15 days.
After 4 days in detention, Byron was separated from his father by immigration authorities and placed in detention separated from his family and from the outside world. Byron did not speak Spanish but Q’eqchi’, a native Mayan language. This 8-year-old has had to navigate a foreign world with no ability to communicate with those around him. Meanwhile, his dad was deported to Guatemala without him through government coercion, and did not get the opportunity to apply for asylum.
David is currently in danger in Guatemala from criminal gangs, as he is a committed Evangelical Christian who preaches against a life of gang crime. Byron is in danger as well if he is returned to Guatemala.
David desperately needs to return to the United States in order to be free from threats against his life, and to be able to freely practice his faith. We are providing legal assistance in helping David pursue his and Byron's asylum claims. Our immediate task is to continue fighting in court for David's return, and for his reunion with Byron in the US. Our final goal is to successfully litigate David & Byron's asylum claims so that they may have the same freedoms and opportunities we enjoy as Americans. We currently have a petition before a federal court in San Diego seeking an order requiring the government to fly David back to the US, reunite him with Byron, and reopen his and Byron's asylum claims.
The legal team is working pro bono but we are asking for your help and generosity to raise the $10,000 needed to cover the expenses for David and his wife to travel multiple times to Guatemala City to sign documents and to meet with the legal team, as well as travel expenses for the legal team to travel to Guatemala. In addition, the funds will allow the legal team and a medical professional to visit Byron at the shelter where he is held. We are fighting on two fronts: Convince a federal judge to allow David to return to the U.S. to be reunited with Byron and apply for asylum and to convince a district court judge to have Byron released to the sponsors designated by Byron’s parents while Byron waits for his dad’s return. Little Byron has been detained for nine long months in four different shelters in Texas and he deserves to live in a safe, healthy, nurturing, and loving environment until he can reunite with his father.
We were hired pro bono by the family on August 28, 2018. On our first visit Byron was crying and asked his father by phone if he was still in the United States near him. David had to tell him that he was back in Guatemala. Byron asked his father how he was going to get back to Guatemala because he “did not know the way back”. Byron is still held at the shelter in Texas. We will not rest until he is free and safely wrapped in David’s arms as Americans.
Breakdown of Funds
• Travel expenses for trips to Houston, Baytown, Driscoll, and Raymondville to visit and comfort Byron; consult with Guatemalan consular official and visits by medical professional: $3,500
• Travel expenses for trips to Guatemala to interview David and to gather evidence $3,000
• Travel and other expenses for David and his wife to travel to Guatemala City for interviews and appointments with US embassy officials: $1,500
• Travel and other expenses for David to fly to the U.S. : $1,000
• Miscellaneous $1,000
Funds raised but not used will be gifted to David for Byron's care.
Who We Are
De Anda Law Firm is a legal team currently handling an influx of cases related to the Trump administration's “zero tolerance” policy that has created the family separation crisis.
We are a team of lawyers dedicated to providing our time and expertise to women ensnared by an inhumane system of border control. We work pro-bono representing Central American refugee families fleeing violence and other threats in their home countries who are seeking asylum.
We are dedicated to upholding their rights and dignity under our asylum laws, and to helping them stay in the United States as permanent residents.
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