UPDATE: Mother Of Girl Heard In ProPublica Audio Will Stay In Houston And Seek Asylum

Cindy Madrid says she has come to the U.S. because it is safer than living El Salvador


This photo shows Salvadoran girl Allison Ximena Valencia (second from the left) at a press conference held in Houston on July 13, 2018. Valencia was at the press conference with Cindy Madrid, her mother (third from the left), to talk about their reunification after several weeks of separation because of their detention in different facilities for undocumented immigrants.

Updated on Friday, July 13th at 5:35 p.m. (Central Time)

Cindy Madrid, the mother of the six year old Salvadoran girl with whom she was reunited early on Friday after being detained in different facilities, will seek asylum in the United States for herself and the child, whose name is Allison Ximena.

As reported by NPR, Ximena’s voice was heard in a recording made at the facility where she was detained reciting the phone number of her aunt –who lives in Houston–, generating national news.

Telma Garcia, the attorney who is representing Madrid, explained at a press conference held in Houston that here client has passed a credible fear interview.

Garcia detailed that, for now, Madrid and the child will live in Houston with a sister of the mother’s. The attorney added Ximena will be included in Madrid’s asylum petition.

Madrid’s case is currently being processed in Harlingen, but, according to Garcia, they might have the “option” of moving it to a Houston immigration court. “It’s something that she and I will have to decide later,” the attorney noted.

Speaking in Spanish, Madrid said she has come to the United States because it is a safer country than El Salvador and added she also wants to offer her daughter the opportunity to have “a better future.”

During the press conference, Madrid was asked about what is her message for other families of undocumented immigrants who are currently separated and she responded she encourages them to have “patience” because “although many have been told no, things can change, the laws can change at some point.”

Ximena, also speaking in Spanish, commented that she felt “good” when she was reunited with her mother because she missed her. Same as Madrid, the girl encouraged other children who have been separated from their parents to have “patience.”

In this short video, Mayra Figueroa, a member of the group Center for Central American Resources (known as CRECEN by its acronym in Spanish) translates to English a comment Ximena made about what she wants to do now that she has been reunited with her mother.


Cindy Madrid, a mother from El Salvador, and her 6-year-old daughter, Alison Jimena Valencia Madrid, were reunited in Houston Friday morning at Bush Intercontinental Airport.

The girl had been separated from her mother after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border as part of the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy.

Weeks ago New York-based ProPublica released audio of Alison pleading for her family from inside a detention center in McAllen.

Their lawyer reportedly told ABC13 the two had to take a DNA test to confirm they were related. The lawyer also said the two will stay in Houston for the time being.

This comes as dozens of other migrant families are being reunited this week, following an order from a federal judge.


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