Monday, November 5, 2018

Help Asylum-Seeking Mother Separated from her 7-year-old Son at U.S. Border

from Amnesty International:

"In March, Valquiria and her seven-year-old son Abel* fled Brazil and requested asylum in the US after death threats from drug traffickers. US border authorities forcibly separated them and continue to detain Valquiria...US immigration authorities must immediately free Valquiria while she pursues her asylum claim.

"...she received repeated death threats from drug traffickers who said they would kill her and her son no matter where they fled to in Brazil. On 17 March, after one night together in detention, US border authorities forcibly separated them without giving any reason, and transferred Valquiria to a detention facility called El Paso Processing Center.

"On 27 March, a US asylum officer found that Valquiria’s story was credible and justified her fear that she and her son could be killed if they returned to Brazil, allowing her to continue her asylum claim. There was no explanation as to why Valquiria was separated from her son, even though she had their identifying documents and her asylum case file recognized their family relation.

"On 10 May and 26 October, Amnesty International interviewed Valquiria in detention, where she repeatedly wept as she recounted the moment that US authorities separated her from Abel. In deep despair, Valquiria told Amnesty International of how the separation from her son had lessened her will to live.

"On 10 September, Valquiria’s asylum claim was rejected and she began the appeal process, still in immigration detention and separated from Abel. Abel is now staying with his father, who is free in the US as he pursues a separate asylum claim. Seven months after their separation and still traumatized, Abel stares at the door waiting for his mother to come home, and still cannot understand why his mother does not come home. He will turn eight-years-old on 24 November and he dreams of seeing his mother before then.

"Asylum-seekers’ right to personal liberty should be fully respected. Detention or other measures short of detention, such as restrictions on the right to freedom of movement, should only be used when necessary and proportionate and should be justified on a case-by-case basis.

Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
Urging them to immediately grant Valquiria humanitarian parole while she awaits the decision on her asylum claim appeal, as parole should be granted for humanitarian reasons where the person does not pose a threat to public safety and presents no flight risk;

"Calling on them to provide psychosocial support to Valquiria and her son, to help them recover from the trauma experienced from their unlawful family separation;

"Calling on them to ensure asylum seekers are only detained when necessary and proportionate in the individual case, and to grant humanitarian parole to all asylum seekers whenever possible.

Contact this official by 5 December 2018:

ICE Field Office Director
Marc Moore
Ice Enforcement & Removal Operations, El Paso Field Office
11541 Montana Ave Suite E
El Paso, TX, 79936, USA
Salutation: Mr. Moore

"The cases of Valquiria and her son Abel were profiled in the October 2018 Amnesty International report, “You Don’t Have Any Rights Here”: Illegal Pushbacks, Arbitrary Detention, and Ill-treatment of Asylum-Seekers in the United States.

Read the rest of the Urgent Action request at:

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

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