If You’ve Been Following This Story, You Already Know That Lucy (A Wife And Mother Of 2 With A Part-Time Job) And Her Family Are Hosting Maria And Her Son, Juan – And Hopefully Soon – Her Daughter, Julia, Who Are All Seeking Asylum In The United States. Julia has been in a child detention center in the States for about 1 year already. They are hoping for reunification any day now.
Dec 4, 2019. From Lucy:
Another tough day.
Today we met with the lawyer. She gave us a full 2 hours for the $150 which I actually think is a great deal. She was very smart and gave us valuable information. Sadly, part of the information is that Maria will almost surely lose her case based on current law (at least if she stays in [our state].) The current law does not allow for asylum based on domestic violence. She said that not a single case like Maria’s has been favorable since the law passed [in this state]. If she had crossed 18 months earlier, she would almost certainly have been granted asylum. She has a shot if she is in California, but she isn’t. Yes, a plan to get her to California is on the table. For right now, reunification [with Julia] is the goal. After that, there is a plan to delay a bit. Cases in [this state] are relatively quick….about 9 months. Cases in California can go on for years. The more time she waits, the better the chance that [her husband’s] family will cool down and not kill them if/when they are sent back.
The delay comes with a small cost. If we don’t actually retain a lawyer, then we can’t get the information from [her] that might be helpful for Maria’s case.
If she attends her first hearing without a lawyer, she will almost surely be granted time to find a lawyer. The lawyer that we talked to would be about $7000 but she gave us the number of another less expensive place. Also, to try all of the things that she wanted to try would be about $15,000. It is this wild combination of getting asylum for Juan separately and then having him sponsor Maria at some point in the future. It is a total “Sophie’s choice” of ideas….all bad in a different way. The question that we really don’t know the answer to is “will the dad’s family really try to kill them?” I know that Julia’s life is in certain danger but I don’t know how much danger Maria and Juan are in.
We got our fingerprints off to New York. I paid extra to make sure that they get there tomorrow. Next there will be a home visit. Then, at some point, they will release Julia to us. Sigh. I got a call from [the detention center] but it was a low quality connection. I had been under the impression that Julia’s case was near completion, and that they were going to grant her asylum. The gal there said that the case was not almost over. I’m confused and [the attorney] can’t share much with me at this point (HIPPA for lawyers).
I found out that Maria was making about $18/week. Dang. Part of the current plan is also for Maria to figure out how to make money here. She won’t be given a work permit and she won’t be able to find work with the ankle bracelet. Probably, the ankle bracelet will come off in another 2 months.
Oh, also, the lawyer said to not get the passport. Apparently Maria does have a passport but it was taken at the border.
We also discussed how important it is for Maria to learn English as quickly as possible.
So, this is where we are now.