Maycoll and Stephanie Mendoza fled to the U.S. in 2012, escaping a multitude of horrors in their native Honduras. This resilient brother and sister pair journeyed through Guatemala and Mexico mostly alone, two pre-teen children, seeking refuge in the United States. Immigration authorities apprehended Maycoll and Stephanie at the Texas border, and there began their struggle to win asylum in the United States.
Maycoll and Stephanie’s case was presented before the Immigration Judge, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and USCIS before they were granted asylum. Throughout the initial setbacks in their case, the children and their family never lost the courage to persevere. They have long been outspoken advocates, appearing in a New Orleans Advocate article and even NPR’s All Things Considered to address the tougher immigration enforcement policies implemented shortly after Trump’s election.
Maycoll recently graduated from high school and, with his newly-granted asylum status, is enrolled as a college student at the University of New Orleans (UNO). Stephanie is a junior in high school, with plans to study cardiology in the future.