• Jane Juffer

Watching the Snow

Updated: Oct 20, 2020

Note from Jane: In this letter, Elisabeth refers to the reason she had to flee El Salvador--because she was afraid of men who would come looking for her. She has since told me that I could share with readers why she had to leave her country and her family. Here's what she said in a message to me: "I had to leave my family because I was persecuted by the head of a gang. He raped me once, it was a horrible nightmare, so I asked this country for protection!" Elisabeth made her claim for asylum on June 6, 2019, and was denied by an immigration judge at that point. The judge said she believed Elisabeth's account of the rape but found that the rape did not meet the requirement for political asylum. Elisabeth's lawyer then appealed the decision; while part of that appeal was denied on November 28, 2019, another aspect of that appeal is still pending with the Board of Immigration Appeals. In the meantime, Elisabeth has been denied bond--which is to say, she must wait in detention until the case is decided.

January 13

I am here at the window watching the snow fall. It is 12, that is to say midnight. I am thinking about a lot of things and also listening to music in English because there is nothing in Spanish (haha). A woman here loaned me her radio so that I could listen to a little music and distract myself a little. The stations I listen to most are 100.1, a station that plays music that I like--romantic music and a little of everything. Yesterday, they played romantic music from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. I like older music more than the music of today. I also listen to 102.5. they play nice music as well.

Tonight it is snowing hard. I like sitting here thinking about the outside and what it would be like to be outside these four walls. I'm wondering whether I will have the chance to get to know this country. If I could, I could have a life without fear, without being afraid that someone will come to my house looking for me or abuse me. There are so many things that have happened to me. since I was little, I have been mistreated, since I was six years old, at least that's the age that I remember from. . But really, my mama and i began to suffer from the time I was in her stomach Now, I would give my life for my mother or my little sister, they are the people I love most in my life. Mama is the one I treasure most in this world. and it hurts so much to be imprisoned here, without the ability to see my family. I have already lost a year of my life here. And still I have to remain here because of all the danger in my country. I want to tell you that I will never forget you, and have you always in my heart. You have been such a good person to me, and I will always be grateful!

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