Client Story from Brynne Howard for the March 28, 2015 JFON committee meeting

March 30, 2015

In 2011, JFON helped a teacher from Guatemala, Raymundo* obtain withholding of removal (a form of relief similar to asylum) based on persecution he feared due to his active membership in a teacher’s union.  

In 2014, Raymundo contacted JFON again because his 14 year-old daughter, Gloria* was detained on the border.  She had entered the United States as an unaccompanied minor – making the perilous journey from Guatemala to the USA alone.  She left Guatemala after she was twice threatened with kidnapping.  The possible kidnappers came to her school, asking for personal details about her and her father.  Gloria and Raymundo believed that Gloria was being targeted because of her father’s involvement in the teacher union.   

Afraid that the threats could eventually lead to a real kidnapping and harm, Gloria’s family decided she should flee Guatemala.  After Gloria was released from detention on the border and reunited with her father in Sioux City, JFON agreed to assist her with her case.  We assisted Gloria in filing an asylum application and attended her asylum interview with her.  At her interview, Gloria gave compelling testimony of her very real fear of harm in Guatemala.  As a result, Gloria’s application for asylum was granted a few weeks after her interview.  Gloria can now remain safely with her father in the United States without fear of harm.