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Florida Sheriff’s Office Surprises 20-Year-Old, Who Is Raising Her 5 Siblings, With A New Car

For the past six years, 20-year-old Samantha Rodriguez has not been living the typical carefree life that a regular young girl would be. Her life turned tragic in 2013 when her mother lost her battle with cancer — and if that weren’t enough to shake her world, her father died of cancer three years later. Since then Samantha has been raising her five young siblings all on her own. She and her family do, however, have guardian angles very nearby.

The Florida Sherrif’s Office has been secretly raising funds to purchase a new car for Samantha and her siblings.

Twitter/@OrangeCoSheriff

The law officers first met Samantha and her five siblings — Milagro, 15, Brenda, 14, Michael, 13, 8-year-old Bella, eight, and 7-year-old Destiny — during Christmastime last year. The sheriff’s office invited the family to their offices and what they got was much more than a visit.

“We took pictures with the officers and the helicopter,” Samantha said, according to CNN. “Then they said, ‘Let’s go into this room for milk and cookies.’ The room was filled with Christmas presents for the family.”

“We focused on clothes but also toys,” Lieutenant Antorrio Wright told CNN. “We wanted to give them a good Christmas.”

The officials said they have “adopted” Samantha and her siblings, and what to help them as much as they can.

Twitter/@OrangeCoSheriff

When Samantha arrived at their offices in an Uber, officials realized they didn’t own a car, so their next goal was to get them a car. They launched a Gofundme page and within a day have raised more than $10,000.

Yesterday they invited Samantha for a visit but this time to surprise her with a brand new Nissan Versa.

“When they told me the car is for us, I remember thinking, ‘They just took away all these worries and stresses.'” she told CNN. “It was such a big weight off my shoulder and will help so much.”

According to Daily Mail, Samantha is also looking forward to doing the kinds of things they used to do before the tragic passing of their parents.

“Now that we have a car, we can go to church on Sundays like we used to. And the kids have already asked to go to the park. The possibilities are endless,” Samantha said.

As Samantha continues her job as a waitress at Disney Springs at Disney World, the Florida Sheriffs office is hoping to be able to assist them when they need it.

Twitter/@OrangeCoSheriff

“Anything I can do, or we can do with the Sheriff’s blessing we will. I’m proud of my unit,” Wright said to CNN. “It’s heartwarming. It wasn’t just me — it was the unit, and all these people came together to help.”

Click here if you’d like to help Samantha and her family.

READ: RAICES Collects Millions To Help Keep Families Together. Here’s Where The Money Is Going

11-Year-Old Undocumented Girl Is Being Forced To Leave The U.S. Without Her Family

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11-Year-Old Undocumented Girl Is Being Forced To Leave The U.S. Without Her Family

For the past couple of years, there have been waves of migrant caravans that have made there way from Central America to the U.S./Mexico border. While we know that the majority of them are seeking asylum due to the increasing violence and death in their native country, we rarely hear about individual stories. For example, what happens to these people once they have secured asylum from the U.S., then what?

The process for many undocumented people, who are living in the U.S. and are awaiting their court hearings, trying to figure out the judicial system that’s not written in Spanish can be quite difficult and overwhelming to comprehend.

For one family in Houston, Texas, we are learning that the process may cost them to lose one of their family members.

Due to what looks like to be a clerical error, an 11-year-old has been ordered by a Texas judge to leave the U.S. without her entire family.

Twitter/@clwstud

Dora Alvarado and her two daughters —  Adamaris, 15, and Laura, 11 — turned themselves into the border patrol last fall seeking asylum. Since then they have gone to all of their hearings. However, in March one of their hearing notices did not include Laura’s name, which she found extremely odd. After that court visit, a few days later, Dora got a letter stating that her daughter Laura was ordered to be deported, but she couldn’t read it because it was all in English.

When they went to court this week a translator told them what the letter said, and it broke their hearts. If Laura gets deported, she would be the first asylum migrant to be separated from her family and deported.

“I don’t want to leave my mom,” Laura said yesterday, according to The Houston Chronicle. “I want to stay with her.”

The family’s lawyer Silvia Mintz is filing to appeal the motion and says they cannot be at fault for an error made by immigration officials.

Twitter/@conectmigrante

“This mistake done by the immigration court has put this family in jeopardy,” Mintz said, according to the publication. “They will be separated if this is not stopped.”

Another reason why the family has faced such a prolonged process is that their regular scheduled hearings had to be rescheduled due to the government shutdown.

The Houston Chronicle also reported that their lawyer has 30 days to try and reopen the case, which may not be easy to do.

“She’s terrified of going back and so is the family,” Cesar Espinosa, executive director of Immigrant Families and Students in the Struggle told The Washington Post. “It seems baffling to threaten to deport an 11-year-old while her immediate family is fighting their deportation cases.”

READ: Federal Judge Rules That Trump Administration Cannot Send Asylum Seekers To Mexico

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