In November 2014 a twelve-year-old girl named Diana walked into our office with her mother. Diana’s mother was holding a letter which said that Diana would have to appear in court for deportation proceedings in just two days. Diana had entered the United States in late September and reunited with her mother after six years of being apart. Now she was facing deportation back to her home country of Honduras, where her uncle had been brutally murdered by gang members and her friends had been disappearing from school one by one. Diana, herself, had been pursued by a gang member to become his girlfriend and when she refused her life was threatened.
We took Diana’s case. We went to court with Diana just two days later and were told to come back in three weeks with evidence of Diana’s eligibility for immigration relief, a seemingly impossible request. But with the help of our amazing pro bono attorneys, we did it – not only for Diana but for hundreds of other children as well.
Two weeks ago, Diana came back to our office to pick up her Greencard, which means she is now a legal permanent resident of the United States. She spoke to me in English and told me how excited she is to be entering high school next year.
This is the impact you have helped HRI create over the last several years. We could not have done any of this without your financial support.
Taking Diana’s case changed the entire trajectory of her life. Now, Diana is not worried about threats from gang members or facing deportation. She is focused on perfecting her English, getting ready for high school, and helping her mother with her two younger siblings. Diana is doing what all teenagers her age should be doing.
During this 2016 election cycle there has been a focus on anti-immigrant rhetoric and policy that we have not seen in the last few decades. It is important to remember children like Diana, whose life depended on her ability to reunite with her mother in the United States.
And as we approach Independence Day, I am also reminded of the principles and ideals our founding fathers risked their lives to defend. Democracy. Freedom. Equality. Each and every day Human Rights Initiative helps clients who are fighting for the very same ideals.
Today I ask you to help us continue to change the lives of children like Diana and to help those who fight for the same liberties we often take for granted in the U.S. By making a financial gift to Human Rights Initiative you are helping save the lives of these incredible people.
Will you help us this July 4th Day?