CHICAGO (CBS) — Maryori Orbina admits she illegally crossed the U.S. border 4 years ago, seeking safe haven from the violence of her country.
She’s just like many other high school juniors — studying hard and dreaming of graduation and college. However, that may not be in the cards for the 17-year-old; she is facing deportation.
“I don’t want to die,” Orbina told CBS 2’s Mai Martinez on why she does not want to return to her native Honduras. “In my country, there’s a lot of violence.”
By the age of 13, Orbina said she was robbed twice, and was also a victim of violence on more than one occasion. “The first time I was on my way to school, and I took a taxi, and then this one dude put a gun on me,” she recalled.
Orbina said she feared for her life, choosing to flee to the United States as opposed to testifying against the criminals. She arrived illegally in March 2014, and searched for her mother who left Honduras when Orbina was only 8-months-old.
“In Honduras, you don’t have the freedom to go out to spend time with your friends. I feel safe here,” Orbina said.
After being detained briefly, she was reunited with her mother, who was living in Lake County Illinois, along with Orbina’s two younger sisters who are U.S. citizens.
Orbina’ asylum request has been denied. An immigration court will decide Wednesday if she will be deported.
Her family, fearing she will be sent back to Honduras, is trying to remain hopeful.
“We want her to feel positive about it,” said Orbina’ sister, Diana Ruiz. “I do think she is scared. She’s afraid to go back — she’s afraid of death.”
Orbina said, if sent back, she also fears she will be forced into prostitution.