A judge has ordered the U.S. government not to deport a Honduran woman without her 15-year-old daughter.
The two have been detained together for six months and fear being attacked if forced to return to Central America.
U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss issued the order Monday.
The mother and daughter are detained together in Dilley, Texas. While the teenager has a case for asylum pending, an immigration judge on Friday denied the mother’s request to reopen her immigration case.
The woman and teen say they came to the U.S. two years ago after gang members in Honduras held them at gunpoint and demanded they pay protection money.
The mother and daughter are detained together at the family detention center in the South Texas city of Dilley. While the daughter has a case for asylum pending, an immigration judge on Friday denied the mother’s request to reopen her immigration case.
Shalyn Fluharty, who is managing attorney of the Dilley Pro Bono Project and representing the mother and daughter, said that the teen has tried to take her own life at least once in detention and that she needs her mother.
“Her psychological well-being is in a critical state,” Fluharty said.
The mother and daughter were initially allowed out of detention while their immigration cases proceeded, but ICE detained them both in June. The daughter had her 15th birthday in detention last week.
A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman declined comment.
Source: The Associated Press