Community rallies behind mother, daughter detained by ICEPosted: Updated:
A community is rallying behind a 9-year-old Guatemalan girl who, along with her mother, was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Fernanda told News 12 through her Guatemalan-American aunt that she spent two weeks sleeping on concrete - two people to a blanket - after her mother felt it necessary to risk their lives to illegally cross the border in May.
Once in the United States, the 9-year-old girl says they were immediately detained by ICE officials.
"The mother is a single mother. She graduated from college but it's hard to find a job... in my country there's a lot of drugs and no work,” said her aunt.
Fernanda is now staying off and on with her aunt in Goshen. While her caretaker is a U.S. citizen, the woman says she is afraid to show her face on camera and asked that News 12 conceal her identity while the girl's mother is in house detention in New York City and the pair faces deportation.
Members of the community have raised hundreds of dollars online, thanks to family friend Louise Luck.
“At this point, we just want to see her do the things a girl her age would do - swim, ride bicycles, eat ice cream,” says Luck.
News 12 reached out to ICE officials for comment on the family's case, but calls were not returned.