NEWS FOR December 12, 2014

Dear Friends,


Olga has been reunited with her baby! Olga and her baby are with Olga's sister Yolanda in Virginia!



Special THANKS to Thelma Garcia, pro bono immigration lawyer and friend of the South Texas Human Rights Center, who was able to secure Olga's release to Yolanda based on the credible fear of domestic violence if Olga were to return to Guatemala.  Olga's journey is not over. She must still stand before an immigration judge and prove her case. Thelma will stand with her through this far-from-simple process.


Summary of Olga's Situation:

*Olga is caught in a car in the process of crossing and moving away from the border without documents.  Olga is four months pregnant.

*Olga is held in detention at the Brooks County Detention Center as a material witness against the coyote driver who was also caught.

*At the time that Olga is in the hospital for a Cesarian Section, Eddie takes a call from Yolanda, the sister of Olga who lives in Virginia.  Eddie is asked to help with the transition of the baby to family members.  I do not know how Yolanda got the phone number of the STHRC. 

*Olga visits with her baby at the hospital for one day.  Yolanda is not allowed to visit with Olga when she arrives to take the baby.  The baby is taken to Virginia to be with relatives.  Olga returns to the Brooks County Detention Center.

*Eddie connects pro bono immigration lawyer Thelma Garcia with Olga.

*Nearly two more months pass before the coyote goes to trial.  The coyote pleads guilty making it unnecessary for Olga to testify.

*I make make my first visit to the Brooks County Detention Center.  Olga is the first woman that I meet.  Olga leads our first prayer service.

*That very day, Olga is taken to the Detention Center in Laredo, TX, without the knowledge of Thelma Garcia or the STHRC.

*I visit the Brooks County Detention Center the following day and find out that Olga has been taken from this place of detention.  I share the knowledge with Eddie.

*Eddie spends two days trying to find where Olga was taken.  Once located, Eddie connects Olga once again with Thelma Garcia.

*Thelma assists Olga, and Olga is released to be reunited with Yolanda and her baby in Virginia to await the next phase of the process.

*Olga spent seven months in detention.


Remember that Olga is not a criminal.  Crossing the border without documents is not a crime.  However, Olga, and MANY like her are being held in detention as if they were prisoners and a threat to the US population.  Gradually, we forget that these persons are NOT criminals, but are being held in the same circumstances in which criminals are held.


It is evident that God was watching over Olga.  This many timely miracles would not happen without the goodness and providence of God.


Thank you for your continued support and prayers....especially for Olga!

Sr. Pam


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Sr. Pam accompanies 3 members of the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) to visit shelters in Matamoros, Mexico. This crippled man washes car windows at stop lights to earn a living.
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