A Salvadoran Family Wins Asylum Against Rough Odds

Marta Hernandez was startled from her sleep by government agents arriving at her family’s Irving house, ready to deport her back to her violent, dangerous homeland of El Salvador.But sixteen months later, the 34-year-old mother is on a pathway to U.S. citizenship.Her leap from desperation to hope illustrates how a determined lawyer scores a victory against rough odds.Hernandez was the subject of a front-page story in The Dallas Morning News. She arrived in the U.S. with her two small sons during a massive immigration surge of Central Americans from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala in June of 2014. Nearly 140,000 unaccompanied minors and mothers with children arrived at the border that fiscal year. It was a four-fold increase from 2012.Caught in an immigration crackdown under President Barack Obama and drawing a tough judge, her odds of being allowed to stay in the U.S. once seemed slim.“The same judge that gave me the deportation order, granted me asylum,” Hernandez said, now back in the modest Irving home.But Dana Leigh Marks, the president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, said victories can come for those who are dogged in amassing evidence for their cases. Asylum cases can be extremely complicated, said the judge, emphasizing she spoke as the union leader.  Continue reading...

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