“Last spring, a 17-year-old girl named Lisseth made the treacherous journey from El Salvador to the Texas border and asked for asylum. She says she fled sexual predators in her hometown. As an unaccompanied minor, she was sent to the United States' largest federal youth shelter, called Homestead, near Miami. She described life there as regimented and dehumanizing.
But she remained optimistic. Later, she was transferred to a different youth shelter in Miami, known as Boys Town, where she says kids were happier.
Then, on the morning of Lisseth's 18th birthday — Sept. 23 — two uniformed immigration agents showed up at the shelter. They put ankle chains on Lisseth and drove her across town to a frigid holding cell. Thus began her new status as an adult detainee in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.” "You feel horrible. Who would wish that on anybody on their birthday?" she said in a phone interview. "You feel like a criminal, handcuffed that way. No one tells you that on your birthday, not only will you not get to celebrate. On the contrary, two strangers are going to take you in handcuffs in a van to a detention cell that is freezing. The truth is I'm not a criminal — I have never been one, and I never will be one!" #abolishice #freemigration