Sonia Amaya Hernandez and her three young children — Josselyn (age 10), Valentin (age 9) and Moises (age 3) — are refugees from El Salvador who have been detained by ICE at the Karnes Detention Center since early August, 2014. ICE has already agreed to release the children (if they can pay a bond), but how can they leave without their mother?
PLEASE CALL TODAY and demand that Sonia be released from Karnes with her three children, along with the other families in detention at Karnes!
1) Please Call DHS Headquarters (ask to leave a message for Sarah Saldaña’s assistant): 202 732-3000
2) Assistant Director of the ERO, Phillip T. Miller: 202 732-3941
“I’m calling in support of Sonia Elizabeth Hernandez Amaya (A# 094923605) and her three children (Josselyn (A# 202072947), Valentin (A# 202072945), and Moises (A# 202072946) held at Karnes Family Detention Center. We urge you to release them from Karnes, Sonia under her own recognizance and the three children under the $1,500 bond they have already been granted. They have been held for over seven months, and the long detention is causing them great harm. We also urge you to release all the families who have been detained for a prolonged period of time, including those with prior orders of deportation.”
Their lengthy detention – 7 months, 18 days, and counting – is causing the children grave harm. Josselyn cries all the time and although her mother has repeatedly asked for help, the child psychologist at Karnes has yet to see her. Valentin often refuses to eat and has lost a lot of weight: the pants that he was given in August upon his arrival at Karnes, which were too tight then, are now so loose that they fall off unless he uses a belt. And little Moises, who celebrated his third birthday behind bars, suffers from chronic headaches and eye infections and has begun to act out after so many months of confinement.
Sonia and her children came to the US fleeing horrific violence in their home country of El Salvador. Josselyn was being regularly harassed by a gang member who would meet her on her way home from school and tell her that he was going to have sex with her. These were not just empty threats: earlier that year, a 13-year-old girl had been gang raped and brutally murdered in their village. Sonia served as a community leader in her village, working with police to combat increasing gang violence and drug and arms trafficking. As a result, she was targeted by gang members who attacked her in February 2014 and then broke into her home one night in July. She was able to lock the children in another room before one of the gang members raped her. Instead of finding safety and care after escaping such violence, the family has been locked up for over seven months. Sonia’s courage to cross multiple borders to protect her children should be respected, not punished.
Please help RELEASE Sonia and her children so that they can move on with their lives and access the services they need to recover from the trauma they have experienced.
We know that ICE responds to community pressure, so let’s make this happen!