Aunt says she got call with news of migrant mom Gabriela Hernandez
Posted May 2, 2018 11:22 a.m. EDT
TIJUANA, Mexico (CNN) — Gabriela Hernandez tried for weeks to memorize her aunt's phone number.
She'd written it on paper, carefully folded and secured inside her jacket. She'd written it on her hand, many times, trying to remember the sequence.
She'd even thought about trying to make up a song about it, the 10 numbers that were the link to her only relative in the United States, as she fled Honduras and traveled for weeks across Mexico.
On Tuesday night, someone rang that number in Los Angeles, with news of Hernandez, who is four months' pregnant, and her two sons, Omar, 6, and Jonathan, 2.
All are OK, the aunt, Walkiria, who didn't want to give her last name, said she was told.
She even got a chance to talk to Hernandez, who sounded tired, and Omar, who seemed as lively as ever, she said.
They are still in the processing center at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, across barriers from Tijuana, where dozens of migrants are waiting for their chance to request asylum.
Hernandez and her boys were pushed to the front of the line by other migrants when officials, who had earlier said they were too busy to handle travelers without entry documents, said they would start with just eight people.
Since then, the family has been out of contact with the outside world, but it's likely they have been interviewed to see if Hernandez's claims that she cannot return to Honduras because of a "credible fear" hold merit in officials' eyes.
If they pass that test, their case could progress to an immigration court. While waiting for a hearing, they could be detained or released if they have an address to go to.
More than 75% of asylum requests from people fleeing violence in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala were rejected between 2011 and 2016, according to immigration court statistics published by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.
Hernandez said she took her boys and left her home the night after a gang threatened to kill her 6-year-old if she didn't give information about her ex-husband.
Hernandez's aunt said the official that called her asked if she would be willing to pay transportation costs for the family.
The official gave no indication of how the case was progressing.
But the aunt was told another official would call her soon.