In the fall of 2007, I met “Kacie” at the York County Prison, where she had been detained for illegally crossing the border into the United States. Kacie and I were from two vastly different walks of life.

Kacie grew up in Santa Lucia, Guatemala, a small plantation town. A quick Google search of the town describes it as “unexciting.” She left her three minor children and fled to the United States at 31 years old to escape domestic violence at the hands of her boyfriend at the time, “Luis.” Kacie suffered from some of the most gruesome physical and emotional abuse you could imagine at the hands of Luis. To make matters worse for Kacie, her own government turned a blind eye and refused to enforce its own domestic violence laws, leaving Kacie without protection. She said the police officers she called when she was abused would show up, ignore her obvious physical injuries, and tell her to handle her own “family issues.”

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