Sunday, February 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Rumors of asylum raise hopes for migrant families

By
From page A11 | June 08, 2014 |

REYNOSA, Mexico — The 27-year-old Honduran woman is desperate to know if the rumor is true: that she’ll be allowed to stay in the United States because she is traveling with her 2-year-old daughter.

At a shelter for migrants across the border from McAllen, Texas, Jennys Aguilar Cardenas and other women have heard about mothers being released with their babies, about children being reunited with relatives in the U.S. Like a game of telephone, the word has spread, giving hope to an apparently growing number of migrants willing to risk the dangerous crossing — with their young children — to escape intense poverty and crime at home.

The truth is there is no change in the law for children or parents. In practice, though, so many Central American migrants are illegally entering the U.S. with young children that there is nowhere to hold them while they wait for deportation hearings. With full capacity at the nation’s lone family detention center, an 85-bed center in Pennsylvania, migrants simply are being freed with orders to appear before immigration authorities at a later time.

How many are complying with the order is unknown. A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman said the agency did not have numbers available.

But as stories about releases spread in Honduras, Guatemala and elsewhere, shelter workers and Border Patrol agents are seeing more parents attempting to enter the U.S. with their children. The Department of Homeland Security has not said how many so-called “family units” it has processed this year. Officials, however, do report a dramatic spike in the number of children caught traveling without any adult relative or guardian.

Border Patrol agents in the area of southernmost Texas, across the Rio Grande from Reynosa, made more than 160,000 apprehensions between October 2013 and May, about a 70 percent increase over the same period a year earlier. Nearly one third of those detained — 47,000 — were children traveling alone. President Barack Obama last week called the phenomenon “an urgent humanitarian situation,” and asked Congress to approve additional spending to house the children at two military bases.

The spike in migrant detentions comes as Obama is under pressure both to reform immigration laws and to do more to stop illegal entries. Republican lawmakers have suggested the rise in child migrants is a result of lax enforcement. The Border Patrol acknowledges there is a problem in families being released, with deputy chief Ronald Vitiello noting in a May 30 draft memo that such actions are “incentives to additional individuals to follow the same path.”

Aguilar Cardenas, a single mother of four, tried to enter the U.S. alone last year. She barely made it over the Rio Grande before she was caught and sent back to Honduras. This time, she brought her young daughter, Keillin Mareli, on the 1,400-mile (2,300-kilometer) journey, traveling by foot and freight trains to reach Reynosa, where she hopes to find a guide willing to help them cross for free.

“I decided to leave with my daughter so that maybe, this way, they’ll give me the chance to help my children advance,” she said, as the girl played with a white bear decorated with stars like an American flag.

At another shelter in Reynosa, another single mother from Honduras, Sandra Calidono, said she’s also heard vague stories about the U.S. offering political asylum to children. “Almost all the families in Honduras are emigrating because they heard this talk,” she said, watching her 3-year-old daughter playing with a migrant boy even younger.

Calidono was unable to find work in Honduras and was eager to escape a crime wave that has made it one of the most dangerous countries on Earth. The nation’s murder rate of 90.4 per 100,000 people is more than 15 times the global average.

With only a dark future for the children at home, migrants are eager to believe the rumors of freedom for children and families.

“It’s not uncommon when you are in a desperate situation and you need to believe what you want to believe,” said Stacie Blake, director of government and community relations at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. “In this case, it’s not the reality.”

Ana Bulnes, the Honduran consul for South Texas, said Wednesday it is hard to discourage families from making the trip when U.S. authorities, in fact, are releasing them — sometimes dropping them off at bus stations in Texas and Arizona.

“The message also has to be from both sides, from both governments,” Bulnes said in McAllen. “We have to work in the same direction.”

The rumors are spreading by word of mouth, not through any mass media channels such as radio that can be monitored, she said.

“We have not found anywhere any kind of publicity that’s, ‘Come to the United States. Bring your kids, we’ll let you pass,'” Bulnes said. “The people who are able to enter are those who send the message back.”

Texas Gov. Rick Perry last week asked that the Department of Homeland Security stop releasing immigrants with notices to appear. On Monday, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer asked the same for the hundreds of immigrants, mostly women and children, who in recent weeks have been flown to Arizona from South Texas for processing.

Richard Rocha, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said in an email decisions regarding detention are made on a case-by-case basis, with top concern given to national security and public safety. “To be clear,” he said, “they are subject to removal, but may not be detained through the length of their proceedings.”

With her little Perla, Calidono hopes to cross the border as soon as she comes up with the money to pay a guide to help them. Then, she’ll join a brother who lives in the Carolinas — she didn’t know if it was the north one or south one. Either way, she’s heard, life is better there.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
 
Fire Department honors top firefighters

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Everything you need to know about Super Bowl

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
 
 
4th annual Health and Wellness Fair a big success

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Banish dry skin this winter

By Sarah Porkka | From Page: C4, 1 Comment

Chocolate: A long journey to deliciousness

By Karen Metz | From Page: C4

 
County board to consider DA reorganization plan

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Eurozone offers lesson in debt

By Mark Sievers | From Page: B7

 
Rodriguez graduate completes basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

 
Fairfield police log: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

From ocean to ocean, through the Panama Canal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1

 
Video: Islamic State group beheads Japanese journalist

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

NASA launches Earth-observing satellite

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
California health care contract fight resolved

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Man arrested after body parts found in suitcase

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Scientist considered father of birth control pill dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

‘Rolled Sleeves Bandit’ tied to 7 bank robberies in custody

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Bay Area agency accuses former official of embezzling $1.3M

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Los Angeles female-only mosque may be first in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Letter with suspicious powder received at Samaritan’s Purse

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Snails slither into spa scene in Thailand and around world

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Not so ‘Good to Go’ when man gets $18,000 toll bridge bill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Balloon pilots make history with trans-Pacific flight

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Drivers: Return to your dealers for a 2nd air bag recall fix

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Hatfields, McCoys make moonshine legally in southern W.Va.

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Airport authorities: Traveler beats homeless man with chair

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Kerry: ‘Enormous interest in new relationship with Cuba

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
5 given preliminary charges over jihadi network in France

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Fire devastates major Russian library, threatens rare texts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Swiss police: 4 dead after avalanche hits group of skiers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Fire at Bangladesh plastics factory kills at least 13

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Vatican investigates 2 cases of child porn possession

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Islamic State fighters admit defeat in Syrian town of Kobani

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
From car lots to city budgets, cheap oil means change

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Africa agrees to send 7,500 troops to fight Boko Haram

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
British actress Geraldine McEwan dies at age 82

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Greek leader tamps down rhetoric, vows to pay off debts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Civilians flee east Ukraine town as fighting intensifies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Iraqi libraries ransacked by Islamic State group in Mosul

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

Good old days weren’t as good as we remember

By Megan Mcardle | From Page: A8

 
Editorial Cartoon: Feb. 1, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sound off for Feb. 1, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Feb. 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Feb. 1, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Prayer, commonly misunderstood

By The Rev. Rick L. Stonestreet | From Page: C3

 
Mormon leaders call for measures protecting gay rights

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

Sundance doc pulls back curtain on Scientology

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Horoscopes: Feb. 1, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

Volunteer or visit because February is National Salute to Veteran Patients

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Review: ‘First Bad Man’ is Miranda July’s debut novel

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Lorrie Moore nominated for short story prize

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

New book to feature unpublished Hemingway conversations

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Mustangs win the whole Encalada

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Super Bowl the final act of the NFL’s worst season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lowest prices on last-minute Super Bowl tickets near $9,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Seau, Bettis, Brown, Haley, Shields voted into Hall of Fame

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Rodgers wins MVP, Watt unanimous top AP defensive player

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Lydia Ko takes No. 1 spot at 17, Na Yeon Choi wins opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Laird takes a 3-shot lead in Phoenix Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

Small talk: NFL players find second careers as entrepreneurs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
On the money: Low gas prices, incentives change math for electric cars

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Recalls this week: space heaters, orbital sanders

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Sumptuous seaside hotel sells for record-shattering $360M

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Review: Open e-book format comes with headaches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Obituaries

Frank Z. Perez

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Joe Lambert Robinson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Flora Mae Brooks

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Otilia (Tela) Quinn

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Lester Singer

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
WillIiam “Bill” Hunter

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Garry A. Britton

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Anthony Neal Hunley

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics