Sunday, July 20, 2014

Rush to Deport Young Migrants Could Trample Asylum Claims

By JULIA PRESTON, NYT
JULY 19, 2014

HARLINGEN, Tex. — The first time her aunt in Mexico took her out at night, the young teenager was told they were headed to a party.

It was no party. “It was trafficking people, drug dealers,” she recalled. “I just saw a lot of guys. They had guns. I was in shock. I was shaking. The more I was saying no, the more they treated me badly.”

It was the start of a dark ordeal for Andrea H., a Honduran then living in a Mexican border city. Her own relatives, associates of Mexican drug cartel bosses, forced her into prostitution. She was 13.

After two years she ran away, seeking safety in the United States. She tried twice, crossing the Rio Grande, scrambling over fences and hiding in cactus brush in black swarms of mosquitoes. Twice she was caught by the Border Patrol.

But when agents questioned her, Andrea did not tell them why she had fled. Thinking back to those encounters in an interview last week, Andrea recalled the chill she had felt facing uniformed agents in bleak holding cells at a Border Patrol station within earshot of other migrants she did not know — perhaps with ties to the cartels.

(More here.)

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