Yesenia is from El Salvador. She has been living in the United States for almost 10 years. Yesenia, like many other immigrants, left her country in hopes of a better future; hoping to get away from the widespread poverty and crime in El Salvador. Unfortunately, Yesenia’s experience wasn’t what she expected. She was immediately stopped at the border in Texas and held as a material witness to testify against her smugglers; she offered to help DHS in any way she could. Yesenia remained hopeful and happy to be away from El Salvador.
Yesenia grew up in Uluazapa, San Miguel – ranked one of the most dangerous cities in El Salvadorby the U.S. Department of State. In fact, San Miguel has higher homicide rates than the national average. Like many other women in El Salvador, she was victimized at a young age and lived in fear of one day being a statistic – another point to the homicide rate. Her only hope was fleeing to the United States.
Luckily for Yesenia, she was released and moved to Florida to be with her U.S. citizen sister, who petitioned for her to be a resident. Unfortuantely, this takes more than 10 years. Once she was settled in Florida, Yesenia received a notice to appear before an immigration judge. As required, Yesenia went to the hearing and the judge gave her more time to find an attorney. Knowing that she had little time, Yesenia consulted with an attorney, who, at that time, was licensed in Florida and agreed to represent her. On the day of her hearing, Yesenia was nervous – her fate was in this judge’s hand – but she knew she’d be ok because she had an attorney at her side. But this wasn’t the case – her attorney never showed up. Yesenia went up before the judge alone; having absolutely no idea where her attorney was. It wasn’t until moments later that her attorney came into the courtroom and requested more time to prepare Yesenia’s asylum application.
During the next five months, Yesenia did everything in her power to help prepare her asylum application. She called and met with her attorney countless times, providing her with all the information she needed. But little did she know that by December of that year, just one month before her next hearing, her attorney was disbarred and could no longer practice law in Florida.You would think the attorney would at least tell her right? Tell her to find a new attorney? She didn’t. The “attorney” continued charging her additional fees, taking her calls and appointments, and even scared her into believing that if she showed up to court without her or a different attorney, she would get DEPORTED.
Yesenia didn’t know what to believe. She feared going back to El Salvador and trusted that this “attorney” would do right by her. The day of her hearing, Yesenia showed up and expected to see her attorney there but once again she wasn’t there. The judge, having had enough, gave her one last hearing and an asylum application to fill out on her own or with an attorney. Yesenia was in shock and disbelief. She didn’t understand what was going on and to this day doesn’t understand what happened.
Yesenia, who has been living in the U.S. for almost 10 years, is currently detained at the Broward Transitional Center in Pompano Beach, Florida. She faces imminent removal. Not only did this “attorney” never show up in court after that, but she never filed Yesenia’s asylum application. Yesenia has never been involved in any crimes or been arrested. She has been a person of utmost respect in her community. She is a caring aunt and friend; a trustworthy and reliable nanny – always willing to put others before her. Yesenia is not a danger to the community or a threat to national security; she deserves a favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion. Please sign this petition and request that DHS/ICE exercise discretion under the Morton memo and release Yesenia from custody and help her stop her deportation.
After you have signed, please take a Moment to Call DHS Office of Chief Counsel in Miami, FL, Chief Counsel, Howard Marbury, (305) 400-6160; Acting Director of ICE: John Sandweg (202) 732-3000; Internal Affairs, Nicole Nava, (786) 387-8230. Say: "Hi, I am calling to ask you to exercise discretion under the John Morton memo and release Yesenia Medina Hernandez from custody. Her A# is A097-743-520. Thank you very much."