Crossing the border without an adult - | WBTV Charlotte

Crossing the border without an adult


Since October of 2013, almost 58,000 kids have crossed the United States border without an adult. Some of those kids reunite with family members here in the Carolinas.

New federal numbers show nearly 1,200 children who crossed the border this year have been sent to stay with relatives in North Carolina and another 350 sent to relatives or sponsors in South Carolina.

Immigration Court in Charlotte was full with children's cases Tuesday. One teenager said she crossed the border in August when she was pregnant. She came to court with her five-month-old baby girl, Jessie.

Jessie does not know what it took for her 15-year-old mother to leave Honduras last year.

In Spanish the young mother said, "The situation in Honduras is very difficult for someone. There is much danger. You can't survive there."

Jessie's mom is about to start high school in Charlotte in the fall.  They live with family.
"In this country I feel super safe. I feel calm. What can I say. I feel very good," she said.

She said it took her four or five days to travel from Honduras to the border of Texas. Her paperwork shows she arrived at the Harligen Holding Facility in Texas on August 31, 2013. She said she was with friends. She had very little money and paid no one to help her.

"We asked God to protect us during the journey," she told WBTV.

There has been such a large influx of kids coming from Central America I asked her what has changed.  She said before people told her it would be dangerous.

"My family told me they are going to rape you on the border, they're going to kill you. Others here told me, daughter nothing will happen to you. Find a way to come."

An immigration lawyer said it's possible at this girl's next immigration hearing she could receive a deportation order. Even if that happens, it doesn't mean she will go back to Honduras.

"It's up to immigration officials in the interior of the United States to decide it's worth putting a teenage mother who's a minor herself into their custody and deporting her.  The chances of that are very slim," said Jordan Forsythe.

And what about baby Jessie.
"You can't deport a US citizen," said Forsythe.

And the young mother said she won't leave her daughter.

"No, I won't go. I have nothing in Honduras."

This teenager's next hearing at immigration court is in November.  At that time she will be ordered to be deported or she will be able to acquire some sort of lawful status.

The Charlotte Immigration Court covers kids living in the Carolinas.

Based on their records since 2010, kids coming from Honduras have increased dramatically.

To see the complete report, click here.

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