David & Byron
In May of 2018, David and his 8-year-old son, Byron, traveled from a rural area of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala to the United Sates seeking protection from violence. Their difficult journey to the southern border had taken 15 days.
After 4 days in detention, Byron was separated from his father by immigration authorities and placed in detention separated from his family and from the outside world. Byron did not speak Spanish but Q’eqchi’, a native Mayan language. This 8-year-old has had to navigate a foreign world with no ability to communicate with those around him. Meanwhile, his dad was deported to Guatemala without him through government coercion, and did not get the opportunity to apply for asylum.
David is currently in danger in Guatemala from criminal gangs, as he is a committed Evangelical Christian who preaches against a life of gang crime. Byron is in danger as well if he is returned to Guatemala.
David desperately needs to return to the United States in order to be free from threats against his life, and to be able to freely practice his faith. We are providing legal assistance in helping David pursue his and Byron's asylum claims. Our immediate task is to continue fighting in court for David's return, and for his reunion with Byron in the US. Our final goal is to successfully litigate David & Byron's asylum claims so that they may have the same freedoms and opportunities we enjoy as Americans. We currently have a petition before a federal court in San Diego seeking an order requiring the government to fly David back to the US, reunite him with Byron, and reopen his and Byron's asylum claims. In the meantime, we successfully litigated a federal court suit releasing Byron to the custody of an American family chosen by his parents.
Learn more here.
The legal team is working pro bono, but we are asking for your help and generosity to raise the $10,000 needed to cover the expenses for David and his wife to travel multiple times to Guatemala City to sign documents and to meet with the legal team, as well as travel expenses for the legal team to travel to Guatemala. We are fighting on two fronts: 1) convince a federal judge to allow David to return to the U.S. to be reunited with Byron and fight for asylum; and 2) we have successfully convinced a district court judge to have Byron released to the sponsors designated by Byron’s parents while Byron waits for his dad’s return after his detention of 11 long months in 4 different shelters.