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Asylum-seekers forced to remain in Mexicali face long journey to court hearings

Kate Morrissey, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in News & Features

A woman from El Salvador said she felt like giving up when she and her 14-year-old daughter were first returned to Mexicali before they found Border Kindness.

"We don't know here," she said in Spanish. "My daughter told me, 'Let's fight. Maybe there's a way to find people to help.' Now we're going."

She'd been hoping to reach her older daughter in Virginia, who came to the U.S. several years ago and was already given permission to stay.

Some days they weren't able to eat in Mexicali because they didn't have money and the shelter didn't have food, she said.

"How did I have such bad luck to be returned?" she said.

The group boarded a bus after hugging Brown goodbye.

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They selected snacks offered by the bus service and settled in to plush seats with video displays for the 2 1/2-hour ride. Other than the group of asylum-seekers, the bus only had a couple of passengers.

K settled into her seat next to her friend with both of her daughters in her lap. They watched Disney's "Coco" as the bus headed out of Mexicali.

Soon after, the 1-year-old, snuggled into a Mini Mouse blanket, fell asleep in K's arms. Through gaps in the bus's curtains, dusty desert mountains rolled by outside.

K explained that she and her family fled Honduras after her brother was killed and they received a threat at their house.

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