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April 08, 2019

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Two Cuban police officers barged into Brayan Lazaro Rodriguez Rodriguez’s home, handcuffed him, and shoved him to the floor. They beat him in the face with their batons, and broke one of his teeth. They labeled him a “criminal,” and locked him up at a nearby prison.

April 08, 2019

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As Jose Antonio Hernandez Viera said goodbye to his 6-year-old daughter in Cuba, he was distraught. She suffers from terminal brain cancer, and needs his emotional and financial care. 

But Viera had no choice. The political persecution he was facing had reached its peak, and he would die if he were to remain in his home country, leaving his daughter fatherless. 

April 08, 2019

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During a crisp, cool evening in Cuba, police barreled into Rodrigo’s home and brutally beat him with their batons – striking his stomach, shoulders and back. He fell to the floor and rolled over in pain. He listened as police warned him they could “make him disappear.” Then, he watched them scurry off into the night. 

April 08, 2019

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After fleeing persecution in Cuba, Yerandy Valdes Ruiz was swiftly locked up at Pine Prairie ICE Processing Center in May 2018. For over eight months, he was deprived of the medical attention he needed just to stay alive.

March 07, 2019

After five months locked away at Irwin County Detention Center, Alejandra Garcia Zamarron grew panicked when she saw a familiar face arrive at the immigrant prison. It was her sister, Maytee Garcia. And she, too, was now being held at Irwin.

Once the siblings locked eyes, Alejandra began to weep.

“I was shocked,” she said. “It was devastating, and I was devastated for my mother; both of her daughters were gone.”

February 28, 2019

As you walk past the four-layered, double-barbwire fence and security cameras that mark the entrance to Stewart Detention Center, your phone is locked in your car, along with your laptop. The security camera spots you as the first gate opens slowly. The only thing in your hand is your client file, a pen and an ID.

February 08, 2019

During a day of sightseeing in Mesa, Arizona, in December 2017, Nancy Gonzalez Hidalgo and her husband decided to grab a bite to eat before stopping at a flea market to shop for children’s clothes. They had come to the U.S. the previous month on a valid tourist visa.

While they were at the restaurant, two men they had never met before sat at a nearby table. The men kept their eyes glued to their phones and didn’t speak. It was odd, Hidalgo recalled.

January 18, 2019

Alberto was riding his motorcycle alone on an empty street in Honduras when he unexpectedly heard voices behind him.

He stopped his motorcycle and looked back, watching as four gunmen sprang from their hiding spot among the trees. He recognized their faces. They had threatened him before.

They ambushed Alberto and pointed their weapons at him. They ordered him off his motorcycle, took his phone, and stole his wallet before making him walk to a river.

January 09, 2019

The gang members took Marco by surprise, attacked him, and dragged him to a cemetery in Copán, Honduras.

They beat him repeatedly over the head with beer bottles. Then, they yanked his hair, pulling at it by the roots. When he tried to shield himself from the blows, shards of glass from the broken bottles cut his eye. Blood ran down his face.

Then they told him why they were beating him.

“This is what we do to gay people,” one of the men said. “You are disgusting and a bad influence.”

December 21, 2018

When P.L. traveled to the U.S. in 2007, his heart was full of hope.

His hope turned into reality as he made a home in North Carolina, where he and his wife of 12 years had three children, all of whom are U.S. citizens. The 34-year-old worked at a chicken processor. He was happy. He would have never had the chance for such a life in Mexico.

But in July 2018, the life he had created abruptly capsized when he was pulled over for a traffic stop. P.L. was detained over 500 miles away at Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia, where removal proceedings began against him.