Mother of undocumented child expresses concern for daughter, relatives

HOUSTON - After learning that unaccompanied minors were being flown to George Bush Intercontinental Airport, several families have contacted an immigrant rights organization in southwest Houston.

Among them, the mother of a 4-year-old who just wants to know where her daughter is and if she is OK.

It has been three weeks since 24-year-old Gladys Lopez has heard her daughter's voice.

An undocumented immigrant herself, Lopez says her family paid $9,000 to have her daughter Eliana brought to the U.S. from Honduras.

She was traveling with Lopez's 17-year-old sister and her 2-year-old niece.

"It's difficult being without your child," Lopez's translator said. "That's why she took risks to bring her."

Lopez says she decided to have her daughter brought here because of violence in her own country and hope for a better future.

But on June 18, she learned the threesome had been detained while crossing the Texas border.

This week, she contacted the organization FIEL, after hearing unaccompanied minors were being flown to Houston.

"She just wants to know their status," the translator said. "Healthwise if they are OK and where they are exactly. At this point, she doesn't know if they're still in Texas or if they've been transported back."

Lopez's dilemma comes as lawmakers struggle to figure out what to do with the influx of thousands of young Central American immigrants caught illegally crossing the border.

Lopez said she is aware of the laws that could lead to the deportation of her and her child.

Still, she's hopeful her daughter will be released to her custody while the proceedings continue.

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