Enrique is an 18-year old boy from Honduras whose life has been filled with trauma and hardship since he was young. Though not a member of a gang himself, Enrique’s cousins and uncles are violent gang members, wanted by the Honduran police. They routinely pressured Enrique and his family to join them in their illegal activities, but Enrique and his father refused. As a result, Enrique’s father was murdered by the gang. Only 14 years old at the time of the murder, Enrique and his brother, who were working in the fields, believe they would have been killed too if they had been home at the time.
One month later, the gang returned and fired shots at Enrique on his way home. Enrique continued to hear rumors from his neighbors and family members that his cousins wanted him dead, and he lived in constant fear for his life. Enrique had no choice but to flee Honduras on foot.
It took him 60 days to reach the United States and while lost in the Texas desert, Enrique was kidnapped by the Zetas gang and held for ransom. It took weeks for his family to come up with the money, but a family friend eventually paid the gang members and Enrique was released.
Shortly after his release from the Zetas, Enrique was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and placed in detention. He was released into the care of a family friend in New York and immediately put into removal proceedings. Safe Passage attorneys met Enrique in Immigration Court and he was visibly traumatized. Safe Passage helped Enrique apply for Asylum and this July, Enrique received his approval notice making him a Legal Permanent Resident of the U.S.
After years of violence, trauma, and fear, Enrique can finally feel safe and begin to plan for his bright future ahead, beginning with his upcoming graduation from high school!