In the Hands of their Father
Fernando, his partner and his one-year old daughter fled Honduras after receiving death threats from the same people that killed his brother. Their journey to the United States border was very violent. Fernando’s partner was pregnant when they were returned to Ciudad Juarez under MPP so he was incredibly worried, not knowing where and under what conditions his baby would be born.
The situation in Ciudad Juárez was worrisome, and with the outbreak of COVID-19 even more so, since, “the hospitals are saturated with COVID-19 cases,” explained Fernando. He was also worried about his partner’s health because she could not continue her prenatal treatment, or attend her psychological appointments, due to the quarantine. They were told that the baby’s due date would be June 15, which put them more at ease, since they believed that the pandemic would be under control by then. However, on the morning of May 11, the same day that they were supposed to have their immigration hearing in the United States, the shelter where they were living had to call an ambulance to take his partner to the Hospital de la Mujer.
Due to protections in place related to COVID-19, the hospital did not allow Fernando to enter or accompany his partner. The policy was that only the patient was allowed in. “I stayed outside the hospital, taking my own precautions, not only from COVID but for my own safety,” Fernando shared. When the baby was born, they informed Fernando by phone, letting him know that both his daughter and partner were in good health.
The pandemic continues to limit the everyday activities in Ciudad Juarez and are even more difficulty for people in shelters, under conditions of extreme vulnerability. Due to the quarantine, the family has not been able to register the baby in the Civil Registry or receive any vaccinations. “My biggest worries are for my daughters, and my partner; they cannot get sick from COVID-19. I hope that no one tries harm them, or me. I don’t think that they can be in a better place than in the hands of their father.”
*using pseudonyms to protect identity