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Kera News
February 21, 2018

She escaped violence in El Salvador, but thereís little time or resources to heal while seeking asylum in the US
By Valeria FernŠndez

Yocelyn is undocumented, but she didnít cross the border illegally when she arrived on foot in Nogales, Arizona, in 2016. She waited in line at the port with everyone else trying to cross the border. When her turn came, she asked the US agent for asylum, her 6-month-old baby in her arms, three children and her brother standing by her side. She is among more than 17,000 people from El Salvador with cases pending in California immigration courts. In the Los Angeles immigration court, where her case will be heard, there are almost 65,000 pending cases, about a tenth of the cases in the queue nationally. It takes almost two years to see a judge, according to government data collected by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). In the meantime, Yocelyn has to make a living, take care of her children and find a way to navigate the complexities of an immigration system that is trying to deport her. And she has to do it all without access to public services that might help her deal with the trauma of the violence she fled in the first place.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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