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A new gut wrenching story from the New York Times’ Christian Goldbaum and Miriam Jordan, with photographs from Christopher Lee, details the prolonged separation of Heydi Gámez García, a 13-year-old refugee from Honduras, and her father Manuel Gámez, which ended in Heydi’s death by suicide.
Heydi, whose asylum case was accepted, was desperately waiting to be reunited with her father, whose asylum case was repeatedly denied, despite witnessing and being threatened routinely with violence. As the Gámez’s lawyer noted to the New York Times, “How is it that his daughter and sister are both eligible for asylum and he fails?…He clearly is fleeing for his safety, for the same reasons. This just shows you how this is a flawed system.”
According to Douglas Rivlin, Communications Director of America’s Voice, “This story is not an immigrant tragedy; it is an American tragedy. America’s moral collapse continues under the immorality, incompetence and failed policies of Donald Trump and the Republican Party. A family in search of refuge from unthinkable violence was faced with the harshness of separation, and Heydi was only one of the many children who suffer from the traumatic experiences of being ripped apart from their families. And yet, family separation continues while Trump continues to unveil barbaric policies targeting and attacking immigrant communities regardless of the consequences. We call on our own government to finally extend asylum status to Manuel Gámez as a matter of law and human decency. Our thoughts are with Manuel and Heydi’s entire family, and all those impacted by the recklessness of the Trump administration.”
Read the entire New York Times piece online here.