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341 || Atlanta Church Helps 19-Year-Old Honduran Refugee

Kimberly Chavez, a 19-year-old high school student from Atlanta, is locked away behind barbed-wire fences deep in the heart of South Georgia.

It was just another day of school on the morning of January 27, until Kimberly was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents on her way to school. Now she’s facing deportation back to Honduras—an unwelcome interruption for any high school student.

Kimberly’s church family describes her as being full of love and laughter, and now her they’re rallying around her to keep her—and others like her—safe in the US. Kimberly’s church and community have been gathering signatures, though it is unclear how many they’ll need, to sway a decision in Georgia. Immigration officials have the ultimate decision on who can stay.

Sign the petition at http://www.notonemoredeportation.com/portfolio/kimberly/.

Escaping Violence in Honduras

Chavez and her family came to the US in 2014 after they were unable to pay extortion amounts from the Honduran police. After receiving threats from Honduran police and fearing violence, the Chavez Family left everything behind to escape.

In the last two years, Kimberly Chavez spent her extra time studying and learning English in order to catch up with her schoolmates at Collins Hill High School. She was hoping to go to college to become a lawyer in order to help others, said Larry Collins, an elder at Corners Church who knew the Chavez family.

“We hope and pray that she will be released and return to high school,” Campbell said. “We are committed with her teachers to help her catch up.”

To date, the murder rate in Honduras is the highest in the world with 90 out of every 100,000 people being murdered. In the US, it’s 4.5 out of every 100,000, Campbell said.

Until a decision is made, Chavez will stay at the Irwin Detention Center.

Campbell said the best way to help is to promote giving immigrants a legal path to work status and to discourage Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to stop deporting mothers and children.

Hopefully we will get an update on Kimberly’s story, but for now we’ll join Corners Church in praying for her release and approval to stay in the U.S. But what we love even more about Kimberly’s story is how Corners Church has come together as a community to help one of their own in need. Maybe there’s someone in your church or community who needs your help. It could be as easy as signing a petition.

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