Organization that helped girl from El Salvador remain in US gets financial boost

Posted: Updated:
SPRING VALLEY -

A Rockland County organization that is helping a girl from El Salvador remain in the United States is getting a big financial boost so it can take on more immigration cases.

Emma, a 12-year-old girl who walked more than a week to the United States to escape gang violence in El Salvador, worked with the Legal Services of Hudson Valley to stay in the United States.

She left El Salvador after her family became fearful she would be raped or killed if she stayed. They told her to go to the United States in the hope she could be reunited with her mother, who was living in Rockland County.

Emma started her long trek on foot to the United States in 2016 with a group of strangers to reunite with her mother in Spring Valley.

When she arrived, she faced removal proceedings. Emma started working with the Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, which offers free counsel to victims of domestic violence.

She was able to get a grant of asylum to indefinitely stay in the United States. Her attorney is now working to get her permanent residency.

State Sen. David Carlucci says $70,000 in state funding will go to the Legal Services of the Hudson Valley so it can take on more cases.

Go HERE to watch an extended interview with Emma and the organization's Antonio Smith.

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