Profile: Laura Alvarado

Detention at the U.S. border touches our sister community, El Triunfo

Over 166,000 Salvadorans are in the U.S. awaiting deportation hearings. One of them is Laura Alvarado, a young woman from a tiny rural community in El Salvador. Laura graduated from university with support from a sister community in Italy and for the past two years, she accompanied our delegations as part of her work with FUNDAHMER, the organization that facilitates First United’s sister community relationship with El Triunfo.

In early June, Laura journeyed to the U.S. seeking asylum on the grounds of ‘credible fear’ for her safety. For several weeks there was no news of her whereabouts. We have now learned that Laura was first apprehended crossing the border into the U.S. and was held for 18 days in detention in McAllen, Texas. The facility was called the ‘heilera’ (ice-box) and they had no showers, no change of clothing and insufficient food and water. One hundred people were being held in a small enclosure, having to take turns sleeping on the floor; the guards would line them up and count them 6-10 times each day.

Laura is now in a facility in Taylor, Texas. Fortunately, an immigration lawyer in Boston has taken her case and is working on getting her released on bail. Laura has asked that we keep her companions who are in detention in our prayers and continue to be informed about the staggering numbers of Mexican and Central American migrants who are caught up in the asylum crisis at the U.S. border.

Thank you for your support and ongoing prayers.

~Pat & Greig McPhee