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A project of Catholic Charities of Los Angeles, Inc.

General Line: (213) 251-3505

Fax: (213) 487-0986 

1530 James M Wood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015, USA

©2019 by Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project

Designed and created by Luis D Gonzalez for Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project

Marco Rivera
Esperanza Client

Detained Adult

How long were you detained?

For three months.

How big was the room where you were detained?

It was a lounge where we had 108 people.

What did you have with you?

I had my things, but the guards take away everything from us and they are very racist. They give us food, clothing, and the things that one needs like soap and deodorant.

How was the food?

Good, you can say, in comparison to the food that they give en las “hieleras” (‘iceboxes’, short-term facilities) which is only burritos, the food in Adelanto is better.

How did you feel when you were in Adelanto?

Desperate. I wanted to leave. You’re in despair, and the people there don’t understand us and want to punish us. Because of desperation, you get stressed out and angry.

What did you miss most while you were there?

What I missed most while I was there was my daughter.

How did you feel when you heard that Esperanza was going to help you in court?

Good, it made me very happy.

How was working with Esperanza while you were in detention? What were some of the positive and negative things?

I knew that they arrived Mondays and Wednesday, so I attended the meeting there, and they were instructing things. Ms. Valerie helped me because I learned what I needed to do in front of the judge. They helped me a lot with this, and also with the paperwork.

How did you feel when you had success with your case?

I felt good and happy.

What is the best thing about being out of detention?

The best thing about being out of detention is that your not fighting with people that saw us as bad for being imprisoned. The best thing is that I am now with my family.

Who do you live with in Minnesota?

I live with my aunt, my uncle, and my cousins.

Now, what do you do?

For now I can’t work because I have an ankle bracelet, but when they take it off of me, I’m going to help my uncle work.

What do you like about the United States?

That everything is clean, that all the laws are followed. That everything is safe. The only thing that you have to do is behave well to do well in this country of opportunity.

For you, what is the significance of being here?

For me, it’s the best because I am safe, I’m not in danger of death, because in my country, I was in danger of death. I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to be here because these type of opportunities don’t come every day. So, I hope that I don’t waste the opportunity to be here in this country.

What are your plans for the future?

I hope that I am given my work permit so I am able to work legally. I need to work for my daughter.

If you were able to talk with a lawyer who has the opportunity to help someone like you, what would you say to them?

I ask that they help us. When one comes to this country, you don’t have money and you want to do things legally. If they help us, God is going to pay them and he will multiply by much more.