“This country should be a place where you find safety and refuge,” Hawks said to Rodriguez, with a sign that read “Marta Rodriguez” above the words “mother, worker, taxpayer.”
“She’s all of these things,” Hawks said. “We’re glad to be here for her.”
Rodriguez, a mother of six, first immigrated to the United States in 1994 to escape an abusive relationship she said she was forced into at age 15 and to provide a better life for her family, including her oldest disabled son, who requires 24-hour care. In 1998, she returned to Honduras to be with her children, but in 2005, after her second husband died in an accident in the United States, money was low and two of her children required medical attention, according to Angel. Rodriguez decided to return to the United States illegally.
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