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"Trauma on Trauma on Trauma": For Refugee Children, the Journey Is Only the Beginning

Adele's* 7-year-old daughter cries often. She cries at home and at school, whenever she thinks about the gang-perpetrated assassination she and her mother witnessed in their home country of El Salvador, and the death threats that soon followed. She also cries when she remembers the abuse inflicted on her mother by her mother's partner that, combined with the gang violence, caused her and her mother to flee to the US in May.

“They wanted to kill me,” Adele told Truthout, speaking through a translator, about why she chose to leave El Salvador with her child to seek asylum.

Adele and her daughter were arrested at the border and were held for 45 days in the immigrant-family jail in Karnes City, Texas. Now, Adele worries the two of them will be reincarcerated, or be deported back to El Salvador. She worries more about her daughter's constant fear of the same. Even if they aren't deported, she worries that the trauma and fear that her young daughter has experienced will haunt her for the rest of her life.