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Illegal EncountersThe Effect of Detention and Deportation on Young People$
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Deborah Boehm and Susan Terrio

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479887798

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479887798.001.0001

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Surviving Detention

(p.66) Reflections
Illegal Encounters

Williams Guevara Martínez

NYU Press

Born in El Salvador, Williams Guevara Martínez left home at seventeen to escape domestic abuse and seek refuge with family members living in the United States. After a hazardous journey and crossing into the United States in a context of heightened migration, he was immediately apprehended, detained in federal custody, and ultimately released to his brother’s care in Maryland. He found excellent legal representation and was granted legal relief in the form of Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. Now with formal status, steady work, and college credits he looks back to chronicle the challenges of youth who enter the country alone and without authorization. Guevara Martínez recounts his life in El Salvador, his harrowing journey, experience in federal custody and after release, including personal attachments, educational opportunities and his commitment “to give back” by helping others like himself. He shares the lessons he learned commenting critically on violence, the migration process, human rights, and his hopes for the future..

Keywords:   immigration, detention, domestic violence, legal relief, unaccompanied minors

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