This article appeared in the March 10, 2020 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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What hope looks like for one family at the border

Henry Gass/The Christian Science Monitor
José and Damaris with their daughter, Angelica, after getting married in early February on the Progreso International Bridge. The family is seeking asylum in America with José after they fled political persecution in Honduras.

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The U.S-Mexico border has seldom been less welcoming to migrant families. And for some, that’s the rule of law at work.

But it’s also what makes this update to a Monitor story about Hondurans José and Damaris – and their daughter Angelica – so compelling. 

First a bit of context. Almost a year ago, the border was overrun. About 144,000 people were caught trying to enter the U.S. in May –  the highest number in a decade. The U.S. responded with a range of measures, including the Migrant Protection Protocols. Those seeking asylum must wait in Mexico until their case is heard. Last week, MPP itself was found invalid by a U.S. courts of appeals.

José, a survivor of torture, fled Honduras in 2017, and he was granted political asylum last November. But his wife and daughter arrived later, and were snagged by MPP for five months – until Saturday.

On a cloudy morning, José held Damaris and Angelica (they’ve asked us not to use their real names) in his arms on the U.S. side of the bridge in Brownsville, Texas. They joyfully embraced in front of the “Welcome to the United States of America” sign, reports staff writer Henry Gass. Angelica clutched a bag of Skittles, and her mom held the precious official documents. The girl has, like her father, been granted asylum in the U.S. Her mom’s claim is still pending, but she has been paroled into the U.S. while her case proceeds.

A case of compassion, the rule of law, and what appears to be a rare, happy ending for one family’s journey to freedom.

This article appeared in the March 10, 2020 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 03/10 edition
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