The Line: Woman granted asylum shares journey from Mexico

Unidentified woman was allowed to stay, work in US

SAN ANTONIO – A woman from Mexico who made the journey to a port of entry to seek asylum after fearing for her life shares her story. 

We are not naming her for safety reasons. 

“It’s not that easy because you are in a country you don’t know and it’s difficult because you don’t have anyone. But it's better,” the woman said.

The woman fled Mexico in 2016. 

“They wanted to take my daughter,” the woman said. 

The crime and violence, she said, were getting worse. 

“You can’t live there anymore. The organized crime, it's everywhere. If you don’t do what they want, they will kill you,” the woman said. 

The woman said she had no choice but to leave with her older daughter. They left Michoacán, Mexico, and went to Tijuana, the border city near San Diego, California. There, they turned themselves in to authorities at the port of entry. 

“I turned myself in. They told me there was a process and then let me go after putting a bracelet on my foot,” the woman said. 

Immigration attorney Rafael Borras helped the woman through the legal process. 

“We have people like her, who are fearing death, who are being persecuted by powerful, dangerous people, and that has been our experience a lot, and we have been able to help a lot of people like that,” Borras said.

After months of working her way through the asylum process and appearing in court several times, the woman was granted asylum, allowing her to stay and work in the United States. While it was the hardest decision of her life, she said it was the only option. 

“It’s better like this because even if we are lost, we get to live and I have my daughters,” the woman said. 

The woman is not alone. We found that the numbers of what are described as credible fear cases or people seeking asylum for fear of returning to their homeland because of concerns of their life have increased. 

According to the United States Department of State, the United States Department of Homeland Security received more than 51,000 credible fear cases in 2014. Compare that to last year’s 87,000, an increase of more than 70 percent.

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