Pooja Sethi

As interviewed by Adi Pangal, March,14,2019

Pooja Sethi: In Her Own Words

My name is Adi Pangal and today I’m going to interview Pooja Sethi, who is a lawyer who deals with immigration cases.
It used to be that people used to come to the border and this is the very legal way to do it. Families used to come to the border,they used to be in a detention center for a couple weeks.If they had a valid asylum claim they used to be allowed into the country and then they would spend about a year having the courts hear their asylum claim and assessing the validity. Now what’s happening is they’re coming to the border and under the new administration,the Trump administration,they’re separating the families from the children and a lot of times,the parents are getting deported back to their home country ,but the children are stuck here ,so a lot of children are getting put into foster care and left by themselves.
A fourteen year old girl and her seven year old brother that she walked for three weeks from Honduras,she walked and got on trucks to get to the border because her family was in a deep amount of trouble .Her father was a doctor who was trying to help people who were injured in gang violence and her family was in trouble so they sent her to the United States border and when I went to go see her at the detention center,she was separated from her brother, so they had walked for three to four weeks to get to the border and then they were separated so we are trying really hard to get the the girl and her brother back together and to live in this country, safely.
Studies have shown that a lot of children who are without their parents for so long,get depression,they get a lot of anxiety,they have nightmares,they’re scared their parents won’t come back,they suffer from severe separation anxiety and it’s just it’s not good and the other thing is they are going into foster care and they are going into peoples homes and a judge recently ruled, that two children that have been in a foster family, their biological parents aren’t entitled to them anymore,the one that got deported.They are losing their identity,they’re losing their culture,and they’re losing their entire families.
I have had clients who came from the border who got put in detention by the border. I mean they’re sad, they’re crying and I mean they have been in this country for 20 years and all of a sudden they’re in a detention center. And might have to leave their children back home Its really difficult.