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Refugee Stories: Jasmine’s Story

The plight of refugees and migrants from South America grows more drastic and their fate more uncertain. Refugee Stories are testimonies from children, adults, and families, gathered by the Salvadorean Lutheran Church, our companion synod in El Salvador, and CARECEN, an organization working to change the immigration system, win legal status for immigrants, and foster community activism. These stories are a tool and a witness for Refugee and Migrant Sunday and beyond; please share them with your congregations and ministries.

Jasmine is 17 years old, originally from Guatemala. She is an unaccompanied minor who is under the care on her aunt, whom she only met when she arrived to the United States.

When Jasmine appeared in court for the second time without a lawyer, the judge gave her an extension to give her a chance to look for an attorney. During her court session the judge decided to have a conversation with her off the record. During this conversation we learned a bit about her current living situation. It appears that she has a boyfriend who is much older than her, and because of tensions in her aunt’s home, she has decided to move out of her aunt’s house and go live with him.

For this reason there are some organizations that are unable to help her since she is no longer under her legal guardian’s protection. She is pregnant and no longer attends school.

Like many other kids, Jasmine seems to not understand exactly what she is facing.