Elva Marroquin has the excited look of a child who just saw gifts under a Christmas tree. The Guatemalan immigrant has received a much wished for gift. Her children are ok.
Ten-year-old Angel and seven-year-old Dulce, were among thousands of children detained in border patrol facilities. Kids from Central American countries like El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, who crossed the border illegally, after hearing rumors that they would be allowed to stay.
The first time she heard from them, about 10 days ago, they called from a Texas detention center saying they were cold, hungry and sleeping on the floor.
This latest call was different, says Marroquin. Explaining that the children sound happy and say they are doing well. A social worker has asked her to fax copies of the childrens's birth certificates, the parents' passports, even proof of income.
When will she get to see them? Once the paperwork is checked out, the social worker will call her back to make arrangements, perhaps as early as next week. Officials are trying to expedite the cases, to move the children along, since there are so many.
To the criticism that illegal immigrants in the U.S. are taking advantage of the system to bring their children into the country, Elva shakes her head asking: isn't it unjust to keep a family part, when they can be together? "We work, pay taxes and contribute to the community" she finishes.
She vows to fight to legalize Angel and Dulce, who now have a U.S.-born, 8-month-old brother, Emmanuel. We hope to follow the family through the system, if they' ll allow it.
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