My name is Rosario and I came from El Salvador in 2015 with my daughter who was six years old. The gangs in El Salvador were threatening me and my daughter with death. There was rape intent with my daughter and myself and it didn’t succeed because my neighbors saved us. They called me and they asked a lot of money and if I didn’t give them the money, they would take my daughter and they would kill her. That was the biggest motive that pushed me to leave my country.
I presented myself at the port of entry in McAllen Texas. I was detained for 3 days and then released. They put on an ankle monitor. After being in the detention center, they called one of my family members and he paid for a Greyhoundto San Francisco. A month later I had my court date. I had to fill out the application for an attorney because I didn’t have one and then I submitted it and then the lawyer from Pangea called me.
I’m really happy because I have asylum. I have some sort of relief and that we have some sort of status to defend ourselves and keep working. It’s very sad to see so many children separated from their parents. I think it would be very devastating for me to be separated from my daughter if I was there. I spent three days in detention, but it was the hardest three days.
They would just give us a piece of bread with like a piece of ham. It was just bread and ham. It was cold. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. My daughter ate them probably the first day, but just the other two days she didn’t eat anything. On the third day, she couldn’t even open her eyes because she was dehydrated, she didn’t eat. It was really cold there. They call the space we were held the icebox because it’s really cold.
There’s a lot of people so there is barely enough space to sit down. The restroom is out in the open. You can see everything and you can smell everything. It was really hard. My baby was suffering a lot even though she was with me. I can’t even imagine having a baby being there without their mother and going through those same situations.
I have been working at McDonalds for the last 3 years. I love to work. The only thing I don’t have is my family, my siblings. Aside from that, the security of my daughter is very important for me. I am married now and have a new wonderful little girl named Daniella.