Read this story in Spanish.
As we approach 2019 Mother’s Day, CLINIC has gathered the stories of four mothers who have experienced the asylum process. It is our hope these stories highlight journeys of asylum-seeking mothers who have faced danger and endured sacrifices in order to provide their families with the opportunity to live free from persecution and violence.
Isabel’s story is that of a young mother seeking protection. She and her daughter fled for safety in the U.S. after being threatened by organized crime where they lived in Central America. Since then, she has not seen her own mother and siblings. “It has affected me a lot because I do not have my family, or the support of anyone,” said Isabel.
The dangers that Isabel faced before arriving to the United States were serious. She feared groups that were involved in organized crime, as well as the authorities in her country. She was afraid the threats of sexual abuse and torture would come true. Her biggest fear was to become another one of the women and girls that lost their life due to the extreme violence.
Isabel was three months pregnant when she entered the United States and, upon entry, was detained for three months. During her detention, the anguish and uncertainty was unbearable. The only thing that kept her hopes up were her calls with her mother. “The call was of eight minutes, but I asked her how everyone was. I felt good listening to her. She calmed me,” said Isabel. Despite the shortness of the weekly call, her mother’s voice was her essential source of strength.
As Isabel’s asylum case remains pending, the uncertainty weighs on her. “Being alone is difficult because in one’s own country one at least has family. It has been hard.” Isabel has the hope of a stable and healthy future for her family: “As a mother one has many responsibilities. One has to learn to not stay behind; and fight for one’s children.”
*Name has been changed
Want to demonstrate your support of mothers like Isabel? Sign our petition calling on the administration to end their relentless attacks on asylum seekers.