Immigration Justice Campaign is an initiative of American Immigration Council, American Immigration Lawyers Association.

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Luciana's Story (English)

I entered the United States with my 11-year-old daughter on May 18, 2018. We fled our country due to violence from my daughter's father, who threatened constantly that he would kill me and burn down the house. The day that we crossed the river we were detained by an immigration official who took us to the “icebox.” When we arrived there I was some mothers with small children crying.

An official approached me and told me, "Look what they are doing to those mothers. We will do the same to you so that you learn that when you arrive to a house you go in the door, not through the windows or over the fence. We will take your daughter and turn her in to the government and you will be deported to your country and all this will be so that you learned your lesson." I told him that he could not do this because it was inhumane, I begged him not to take my daughter because she had already suffered a lot. I explained that she had suffered from cancer and that even though she had now been a survivor for four years, she still needed special card. The official started to laugh and spoke in English with another official and grabbed my daughter. She clung on to me and cried but they didn't care.

After three days in the “icebox” I was transferred to the dog pound where we were really treated worse than animals. We would reach our hands out for a cracker and they would throw it. They called us pigs and would kick us to make us get up in the morning and at night they would raise the air conditioning. I was there 6 days. Then I was transferred to a federal maximum-security prison in Washington, they handcuffed our feet and hands and put a chain around our waist when we arrived there. I was there for a month and when I returned to my cell after receiving a visit from a lawyer I had to take off my clothes for the officials to examine me.

After a month there I was transferred to Tacoma where I asked for information about my daughter. They gave me a phone number but no one ever picked up. In my desperation of not hearing from my daughter I asked for my deportation so that they would give me my daughter. After a month in Tacoma I was transferred to Port Isabel like a dangerous criminal, with chains on my hands and feet.

On July 23 they gave me my daughter back thanks to the fight of all the people who united from our pain and the lawyers who fought for us. Then we were transferred to Dilley and we have been here more than a month but I know the group of lawyers that are fighting for our freedom and the people outside will win us our freedom and this nightmare will just be a bad memory.

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