Iris Rivera: Every fight is important
I’m from Honduras, from San Pedro Sula, where I worked as a nurse. I came six months ago with my two sons — the youngest 17, and the other 20 — and with my 4-year-old grandson. My eldest son, who disappeared in Mexico, is 30.
I’m here now with a ankle monitor because I’m in the process of asking for asylum. My sons were threatened by gang members in Honduras, the same ones who threatened them killed my nephew.
Look, I really didn’t imagine myself living here. I’ve always been scared of the United States. I had heard that one exists virtually imprisoned by immigration policies, and that this government doesn’t want us. It does make one a little fearful.
What I wanted, actually, was to flee what was happening to us in Honduras, and my objective was to live in Mexico. My eldest son went there in 2008, and was working in Veracruz. He was living in a hostel there in October, and by November he had disappeared.
In January of 2009 an informational release prompted me to start searching for him. At the prosecutor’s office they had a file on his disappearance, but had no photos of him and few facts. in 2010 they declared him dead, based on some DNA “proof.” But in 2014 it was revealed that the DNA in his file didn’t match his actual DNA. I filed another complaint based on that mismatched DNA, and Father Alejandro Solalinde put me in contact with the Red Cross so that they could start helping me.
Because I was going back and forth to Mexico to do all this, my sons were left alone for stretches of time in Honduras and that’s when the gang would threaten them. They wanted my sons to join.