Magdalena (left) and Pisgah Legal Attorney Julia Horrocks.

Magdalena knew her little sister was in terrible danger, but what could she and her family do?

The time when a girl begins turning into a woman should be joyful, but in El Salvador it can make her a target for violent gangs. Gangs often force them into becoming their “girlfriends,” resulting in horrible sexual exploitation. Refusal often ends in the death of the girl or a member of her family.

Magdalena has lived and worked in WNC for 10 years. Her 12-year-old sister, Elizabeth, fled the violence and made a harrowing journey to the U.S. She was detained crossing the border. After being held for six weeks in a detention center, Elizabeth was reunited with Magdalena.

Pisgah Legal Attorney Julia Horrocks helped Magdalena obtain physical and legal custody of Elizabeth. Another PLS immigration attorney is pursuing Special Immigrant Juvenile Status for Elizabeth. If her case is approved, Elizabeth will have the opportunity to apply for her green card.

“We want to make sure Magdalena’s little sister is protected and on a path to live legally in the United States.”
– Pisgah Legal Attorney Julia Horrocks

Crossing the border and being detained was a very traumatic experience for Elizabeth. She is doing well now, in school, and hopes to someday become a psychologist to help other children dealing with trauma. Magdalena  is grateful that her little sister is safe.

Want to help others right here in Western North Carolina?

Generous donors have issued a $40,000 challenge to raise funds for Pisgah Legal Services’ immigration work. Make a gift today to the “Justice for All” program and your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar!  Online giving is fast and easy or contact Brent McKnight at 828-210-3405.

Find out more about the Justice for All Project.