IMMIGRANT’S JOURNEY: Unaccompanied minor shares his story 6 years later

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LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – A record number of unaccompanied children seeking asylum are coming into the U.S. through the southern border. But children with no where else to go hoping to find refuge in America is nothing new.

In March, it’s estimated a record 19,000 unaccompanied children arrived to the southern border.

Edwin Hernandez says he see’s himself in everyone of them. That’s because the asylum seeking process is something he knows well. “To see that once upon a time I was one of them and my heart goes to them first of all,” Hernandez said.

JOURNEY TO THE U.S.

Back in 2015 he made the dangerous journey himself fleeing domestic violence and poverty.
The pictures of children wrapped in foil blankets makes him think of a time he was in the exact same spot.

“The facilities of homeland security took me to there I want to call them jail cells. Places where they don’t tell you anything…not to mention they don’t really take care of you food, restroom or anything like that,” Hernandez said.

Edwin Hernandez made Charlotte, Michigan his home after making the journey from Honduras.
Today he’s a leader in the community. He says his experience of being a refugee, like that of many, has not always been welcoming.

He says he has memories that still haunt him. “The hardest thing to see is the children like babies 3 to 4 years old… they don’t really understand what’s going on or anything,” he said.

THINGS COMING FULL CIRCLE

Now years later, his life has come full circle. Hernandez was selected to be the Michigan delegate for Refugee Congress, a nationwide non-profit that advocates for migrants.

He says he hopes that by sharing his personal experience more people will demand a fairer immigration system.

“A long journey has been since that day and where I am now being a very good opportunity and working progress to because this is just the beginning,” he said.

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