A single mother in Washington said this week that the federal government has ordered her deported back to Honduras without her three minor daughters, who are between 9 and 14 years old.
Bernarda Pineda, 33, told The Herald that she had obtained a work permit and a driver's license during her 12 years in the United States even though she does not have a green card.
In February, Pineda was called into to the local ICE office and was told that she was no longer allowed to stay in the U.S. because there was no “urgent humanitarian or significant public benefit reason." She agreed to pay for her own airfare back to Honduras so that she would be able to visit her daughters.
"I’ve never not seen my children,” she explained to the paper. “I’ve always been with my daughters. It will be so horrible. I brought my daughter from Honduras at 2 years old because I couldn’t be without her.”
“Honduras is very poor, very dangerous,” she said. “There are murders. Femicide. It’s one of the most dangerous countries in the world.”
One of the daughters' teachers launched a GoFundMe page to help cover Pineda's cost of travel.
“I fell apart,” teacher Barbara McKinney said. “I just held [Pineda's daughter] Stacey and I sobbed.. I didn’t know what to do because I knew the family was going to be separated.”
“It just doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t understand,” she added. “I thought they were going after gangsters and people with a criminal background. But no. They’re going after single moms.”