Karla* didn’t know where her 13-year-old daughter was for 25 days. When she was being separated from their kids, their 6-year-old girl didn’t want to let go. Holding back tears, she shared her traumatic journey with World Relief staff and volunteers. She did this while sitting in the AIDNW Welcome Center only a few feet outside the fence of the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, WA where she had just been released.
Fleeing El Salvador, Karla and her family sought asylum at the border and she was quickly separated from her family. Karla was one of the mothers who had been taken to the federal prison in SeaTac, WA. Later she was transferred to the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. While in the federal prison, she didn't know where her oldest child had been taken for over 4 weeks..
Karla was released from the Detention Center on bond and her first call was to her family who were now all together waiting for her in California. A plane ticket had been arranged for her the next day. That evening, she went to a World Relief church volunteer’s home to receive a warm meal and a welcoming place to spend the night. The volunteers took her to the airport in the morning and helped her get on her flight. Karla is now back with her family, but more mothers are still separated from their children.
*Karla’s name has been changed to protect her identity.
To apply to host or help transport detainees when they are released from the detention center, please fill out an application.
Join us for an event in Ballard on August 9th to learn more about our Immigration Legal Services and ways you can support immigrant and refugee families.
You can support World Relief's work at the Northwest Immigration Detention Center by giving funds that help pay for goods and support services to detainees - select Detention Center.