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Category: Immigration

“I can’t get over that day when [ICE] separated my dad from me.” #FreeErlin

  • Deisy Flores Immigration Staff Attorney

Earlier this year we wrote to you about Erlin Centeno, a Garifuna land rights defender, who fled Honduras with his wife and children after his cousins were killed and he became a target of death threats. Four months ago, following a routine check-in with ICE in New York City, Erlin was detained. Since then his family is terrified that they will be permanently separated.

In an exclusive interview last week, Erlin’s wife, Trini Merced Palacios, spoke up for the first time on how Erlin’s detention has taken a toll on her and their children:

“I feel very bad every time I talk about that,” the 35-year-old woman said in Spanish. Tears streamed down her face as she held her restless 2-year-old daughter, Genesis, who had not been able to sleep well since her father’s detention, according to Palacios.

Sometimes, when Genesis seems to be asleep, she suddenly wakes up, calling “papá, papá,” the mother said. “So, I tell her, ‘You’ll see Dad soon.’”

But Palacios doesn’t actually know if or when the family will be reunited.

“My fear is that they will deport him to Honduras, where he had death threats,” she said.

Recently, Erlin was transferred from Moshannon to the Pike County Detention Facility. His family continues to suffer financially and emotionally without his support and presence. While detained his medical conditions have gotten worse and he has not received adequate medical care. We demand that ICE release Erlin so that he can have the surgery and treatment he urgently needs.

If you haven’t already done so, will you add your name to the petition to help free Erlin from ICE detention and reunite him with his family?

Our legal team has been working around the clock to help prevent his deportation back to danger in Honduras. We won’t stop fighting until we can reunite Erlin with his wife and children.

Thank you for your support.

In solidarity,

— Deisy Flores, Immigration Attorney for Erlin