With ASAP’s help, Claudia was able to focus on childbirth rather than worry about missing her immigration hearing. Read more about the obstacles that families released from Mexico are facing, and the way that Claudia protected her family from an imminent deportation order.
Claudia and her son fled to the United States to seek asylum, but they were placed in the “Remain in Mexico” program – forced to wait in Mexico for hearings in U.S. immigration court. Unfortunately, they were kidnapped and held for ransom in Mexico, and were only then allowed to enter the United States. The family moved in with a friend in Washington state, where Claudia had to check in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). At one of these check ins, an officer informed Claudia that she still had a hearing scheduled at the border court in Texas. Failure to attend the hearing would mean a deportation order for Claudia and her son, who had waited months in Mexico to seek asylum in the United States.
Just five days before her hearing in Texas, Claudia reached out to the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP). To prevent Claudia’s imminent deportation, the Legal Emergency Room team filed a motion to change her court location. Claudia was pregnant at the time, so our team included a note from her doctor about the risks of traveling. We connected with RAICES, a legal services non-profit in Texas, and found someone to file our motion in person at the San Antonio immigration court. And then we waited.
On the day of the hearing itself, we still had not heard back from the immigration judge. Finally, a representative from RAICES was present at the hearing and let us know that the judge granted the change of venue to Washington. When we heard, we celebrated the news with Claudia!
Claudia was able to deliver a healthy baby without having to worry about a hearing hundreds of miles away. At the end of our case, Claudia shared these words with us:
“I want to thank ASAP for helping me with my case. Without your help, I don’t know what would’ve happened. It was a quick response and the judge accepted the documents about why I couldn’t attend my hearing. I thank you immensely for doing this work for nothing in return. God bless the people who are helping us with these types of cases. It is not easy work but they orient you and it is a help from the heart. I give thanks to you all.”