My daughter Génesis is just two years old, but everyone comments on how smart she is. She wakes up and starts to dress herself. Then she looks around the house, looking for her father.
My husband Tomás, her father, has been detained in an immigration jail
for three months now. Everyday she asks me: "Where's Papi? When is
I say: "He's coming." What else can I do? I can't tell her anything
else. She's just a child.
Génesis wasn't with us the day our car skidded off the road in Youngstown, OH during a downpour and hit a sidewall. The police came and took us all to the station: myself, Tomas, and three cousins. The police must have called immigration because the agents showed up and took the four men away, to immigration jail.
When I told them I had a child at home, they put me in a police car drove me to the parking lot of a Walgreen's, where they took off my handcuffs, gave me back my cell phone and money, and told me to get out.
I haven't seen Tomas since then. He's an hour away, but we haven't been able to see him, because I am afraid to go there. And I work 10 hours a day, at two jobs.
I'm 20 years old, from Guatemala, and I've been in the US for five
years now. I know what immigration jail is like: I spent two months in
detention before I was able to submit my paperwork.
It's a very hard life here, but life in Guatemala is even harder.
Tomás cannot go back. He faces death threats there. We're trying to
raise the bond money for Tomás and his cousin Juan. The other cousins
have already been deported.
Tomás and I met here, in the United States. Our daughter's name is
Génesis, which means "beginning."
He calls us frequently, but the phone calls are very expensive. And
they are only 15 minutes. We need him to come back home and be with
We need Tomás at our side.
Editor’s note: Please help bring Tomás home by contributing anything you can to his GoFundMe campaign. His bond must be paid by November 12th. https://www.gofundme.com/keep-tomas-and-juan-home
Many thanks to Lezak Shallat, who spoke to Daniela and translated her story from Spanish into English.