My 3rd grade student's mom was notified by Homeland Security ICE on February 20th that she is being deported back to Honduras. She is to show up at her next hearing on March 7th with her flight ticket in hand or they will incarcerate her in the ICE facility in Tacoma until they are able to deport her to Honduras.
Bernarda migrated to the United States 12 years ago. She walked and bussed her way here with her two- year old daughter in tow with the dream of finding a safer life for herself and her child. She got a job to earn money to support herself, as well as her parents and 11 siblings in Honduras.
Bernarda works and keeps up a meager apartment in Marysville, Washington. Since arriving in the United States, she has added two additional girls to the family and the children are now 14, 11, and 9 years old. Bernarda has taken steps to be legal. She holds a social security card, work permit, Washington state driver's license, and has checked in with immigration faithfully over the years. She pays taxes. Immigration told her on 2/20/18 that because she came here illegally 12 years ago, she cannot apply for a Visa. They also confiscated her passport at this same hearing. She is NOT a criminal. She has never even had a speeding ticket. She is a law-abiding person who just wants to continue to live peacefully with her three children (two of which are natural U.S. citizens). As a teacher to two of Bernarda's girls (2nd grade for one and both 2nd and 3rd for another) I am deeply concerned for this family's safety and their ability to stay together. Honduras is much too dangerous for Bernarda and her three daughters. Honduras is considered to be the most dangerous place on earth. Women are under attack and femicide is killing one woman every 16 hours. Please take a moment to learn more about the dangers of Honduras in this May 3, 2017 ABC News video at: http://abcnews.go.com/international/men-women-honduras-inside-dangerous-places-earth-woman/story?id=47135328
The father of the two U.S. born children is living in Chicago. He has a work visa and has already served one-year jail time for immigration. It is unclear how long he will be able to stay in the U.S.A. He is trying to get money together as well, to come get the children.
I want to sponsor Bernarda so that she and the children can stay together and continue with their current living status, which is the reason for this request. Legal fees to sponsor run about $5,000 and it can take 1.5-3 years for the process.
In the event that I am too late or unable to sponsor Bernarda, we will need about $550 for a one-way ticket to Honduras for Bernarda by March 7th, some extra spending money for her to live on until she is able to find work, and money to help the dad with expenses of coming from Chicago to get the children and to make appropriate living conditions for them. If she is taken on March 7th, I am willing to house the children until their father can come get them.
My heart is broken for Bernarda and her girls. They are beautiful people and deserve to live in safety together. Your support will help relieve the financial stress of this unbelievable crisis. Thank you!