An 8-year-old boy and his mother were to learn their fates Wednesday as a judge was to decide if they could stay in the U.S. or return to Honduras—but since there was not enough time to hear from all four witnesses, the decision was postponed for a later time.
Iker Velasquez and his mother Evelyn Velasquez appeared before a judge for what was suppposed to be their final asylum hearing – a date that has been scheduled for more than two years. The family moved to the Waukegan five years ago after they said they for their lives in Honduras.
Another hearing is scheduled to take place on March 10, 2020.
“I know Honduras is a violent place,” the younger Velasquez said. “A lot of people die there.”
The family’s journey now has many in the community hoping they will be allowed to stay.
“They have a legit political asylum case,” said pastor and activist Julie Contreras.
Contreras, who was in the courtroom Wednesday alongside several other supporters, said it’s important to show leaders they will not back down.
“We send men and women every day to fight for freedom, I’m asking the judge who’s going to hear to fight for the freedom here,” she said. “The truth is if they return to Honduras it’s as if they are receiving a death sentence.”
The 8-year-old boy is said to stay in a Waukegan school as they wait for the next hearing,according to family attorney Chris Helt. The boy was unable to testify Wednesday due to a lack of time but is expected to next year.
Iker Velasquez said he’s nervous for the decision, but prepared to tell the judge how he feels.
“I’m going to say I don’t want to go to Honduras,” he said. “I like it here its more protective. It makes me sure I like it here because it’s peaceful.”