Fight for Bernarda to Stay with Her Three Girls in the U.S.A

by Barbara McKinney for Bernarda Pineda

Fight for Bernarda to Stay with Her Three Girls in the U.S.A

by Barbara McKinney for Bernarda Pineda
Barbara McKinney for Bernarda Pineda
I teach 3rd grade in Marysville, WA and I'm advocating for one of my students mother who has an order for removal back to Honduras. Bernada was a victim of Human Trafficking and cannot go back.
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on 21st April 2018
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Barbara McKinney for Bernarda Pineda
I teach 3rd grade in Marysville, WA and I'm advocating for one of my students mother who has an order for removal back to Honduras. Bernada was a victim of Human Trafficking and cannot go back.

I am fighting for Bernarda Pineda. I am a 3rd grade teacher and she is one of my student's mother. ICE is trying to follow through with a removal of Bernarda from Marysville, Washington back to Honduras. Please see the update below for more information regarding her immediate financial need.

We have made so much progress in the last few days!  Our attorney is doing an amazing job!  But this update comes with an urgent request for $4,500 in additional funds to cover the balance needed ($8,500) to file a T-Visa for both Bernarda and Sherly, her 14-year-old daughter because Bernarda’s story goes much deeper than she first shared. She shared very personal details with the attorney and myself and based on what she shared (additional insight below), the attorney has identified Bernarda as a victim of human trafficking.

First, we learned that ICE has INACCURATE information.  We learned from Congressman Rick Larsen’s office that after looking into Bernarda’s notice of deportation, The ICE congressional liaison shared that ICE is deporting Bernarda because an “order for removal” was issued in 2015 and that Bernarda filed a motion for a “stay of removal” in early 2015. They allege that at that time she also filed a motion to reopen her case and that it was denied in 2015.  ICE states it took until January 2018 for Bernarda’s motion for a “stay of removal” to be reviewed and adjudicated which resulted in the denial and deportation notice.  The liaison suggested she could try to apply for another motion to re-open her case.  Bernarda told the attorney that she never filed anything. The attorney investigated the court records for the motions and found nothing. I contacted Rick Larsen’s office with this information and put him in contact with the attorney.  In addition to Rick Larsen now taking a personal interest in this case, Maria Cantwell’s office is also following up on this case and taking a keen interest in the outcome.

Today the attorney filed a motion to have Bernarda’s case reopened and a motion to stop her deportation. She will be filing a T-Visa as soon as we have the additional $4,500. 

Another important and extremely personal update is the attorney discussions with Bernarda, she discovered just how extensively tortured and traumatized Bernarda was as a child, teen, and young married woman in Honduras.  Without going into the confidential and painful details, she was horrifically physically and emotionally abused by those close to her and others with whom she had never met before.  Her only existence was to work to provide for the basic needs of her siblings and the insatiable criminal habits and behaviors of the adults around her.  After Bernarda had Sherly, her first child, she knew that she needed to escape her life in Honduras, so at the young age of 21, she left with Sherly (age 2) and made her way to the United States for a better life.  Even her hope-filled journey through Central America and first few years in the US was riddled with criminal acts against her.  The details of her story made me sick to my stomach.

Bernarda’s plane ticket has been canceled as her travel to Honduras will not take place by the deadline as we are fully engaged in a legal battle to gain her and Shirley’s legal citizenship in this country.

As Bernarda’s strongest advocate, I am determined to keep her safe in the US with her children. This is where she belongs.  She is not a criminal, she is a victim of abuse.  Bernarda makes our community a better place because she is a loving mother who is also very hardworking, and kind-hearted.   If she is forced to leave, she may never see them again and to return to Honduras could very well result in serious injury or death. 

News Reports on her story:

http://www.kiro7.com/news/north-sound-news/marysville-mom-will-deported-separated-from-three-daughters/712786765

http://www.heraldnet.com/news/this-single-mom-will-be-deported-without-her-three-daughters/

http://q13fox.com/2018/03/09/it-breaks-my-heart-mother-of-three-girls-facing-deportation-breakup-of-family/




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