The American dream comes to an abrupt end for a Honduran mother and daughter, deported back to the world's most violent city after a grueling journey to Texas for a shot at a better life. Mana Rabiee reports.
In the slums of Tegucigalpa, the American dream has come to an end for a Honduran mother and her daughter. This is Victoria Cordova and nine-year-old Genesis. When Victoria lost her job at a bakery, she made a hasty decision to go to the United States. The start of a new life, they thought, to get away from this shanty-town scarred by poverty and drugs. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DEPORTED MIGRANT, VICTORIA CORDOVA, SAYING: "I don't have any work, it's been four months without work. This is a part of what motivated me to go, the poverty, the situation here, insecurity we live through. We see children nearby who are very young at 12 and 13 years old and they drug themselves. It's terrible to live like this, here we live a life where you can't even call the police because they are controlled by the gang." So mother and daughter endured a 25-day odyssey by land to reach Texas. They nearly drowned in a dingy stuffed with migrants in the Rio Grande. That's where their journey came to an abrupt end. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DEPORTED MIGRANT, VICTORIA CORDOVA, SAYING: "When we crossed the river and they trapped us we didn't think we had any hope." They were detained by border patrol. They spent two weeks with other captured migrants at a U.S. detention center in the border town of McAllen, Texas. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DEPORTED MIGRANT, VICTORIA CORDOVA, SAYING: "They call it an icebox because its very cold there. We were there two days, they took us to El Paso, Texas on a plane and there in El Paso we spent two days sleeping on the cold ground." There were more than 50 people in that icebox, she says. Then, Victoria and Genesis were placed onto the first flight back to Central America after U.S. President Barack Obama pledged to speed up the deportation of illegal minors. San Pedtro Sula is where they were sent. The world's most murderous city. Victoria is cynical now about the politics around the U.S. immigration debate. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DEPORTED MIGRANT, VICTORIA CORDOVA, SAYING: "I have hope but things look bad. Only God can help. We don't know why the policies are what they are, they are just lies, only a trick." The homecoming has been disorienting. Victoria is still out of work. But now she owes a debt to a local criminal gang equivalent to nearly two years' her old salary. So much focus is placed on the migrants detained in the U.S. So little attention paid to the plight of the migrants when they are forced to return.