March 5, 2017
A fourteen year old boy who immigrated to the United States last year from Honduras has been held in a Northern California juvenile facility for the past twelve months. Much of his time there has been spent alone in a cell.
He is one of the many unaccompanied minors who have entered the United States from South and Central America. The boy, who ran from extreme abuse and poverty in Honduras, is already traumatized and disturbed by the circumstances that brought him across the border. He has since become increasingly traumatized by the incarceration and – staff in the facility report – has tried to hurt himself on multiple occasions.
Advocates find G.E.’s case particularly unnerving because the boy has no criminal charges against him and has already been granted asylum; they find no reason to keep him detained. Advocates say the boy is beginning to lose hope, as he doesn’t even know when his release date will come.
Cecilia Candia, an attorney with Legal Services for Children and advocate for the boy, says that they’re working hard to get him released as soon as possible. They do not believe that his continued confinement is legal.
Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Services for Children (LSC)