November 22, 2014
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Services
Houston Asylum Office
16630 Imperial Valley Drive, Suite 200
Houston, Texas 77060
Dear Asylum Officers,
I represent Ms. Melissa Guadalupe SALAMANCA Marquez, a refugee from El Salvador. Melissa Guadalupe Salamanca Marquez, a fifteen-year old girl, has been detained in the Karnes City “Family Residential” detention center since August of this year, along with her mother Maria Estela Marquez Marquez and her sisters, Carmen, who is thirteen years old and Jackeline, who was ten years old at the time of the events described in Melissa’s statement and her departure from El Salvador, but who reached her eleventh birthday in ICE detention.
Melissa Guadalupe Salamanca Marquez and each of her sisters has her own independent claim for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture.
This is the first time in the U.S. for Melissa and her sisters. Neither Melissa nor either of her sisters have any criminal history in their home country of El Salvador, the United States, or any other country. Neither Melissa nor her sisters poses any threat to the national security of the U.S. There are no statutory bars to the granting of asylum to Melissa or either of her sisters.
Luis H. Zayas, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Social Work and holder of the Robert Lee Sutherland Chair in Mental Health and Social Policy at the University of Texas at Austin, visited this Melissa Guadalupe Salamanca Marquez, her mother and sisters, in August in Karnes. His evaluation is attached.
Attached to this e-mail you will find my G-28 for Melissa Guadalupe Salamanca Marquez, a copy of Melissa’s handwritten statement that she gave to me on November 12, an English translation of Melissa’s statement (for which I have a signed certification), and the August 26, 2014, letter from Dr. Luis H. Zayas.
Thank you very much for your prompt attention.