By Syra Ortiz Blanes, Nora Gámez Torres, and Ana Ceballos
“Jennifer Anzardo Valdes, director of the Children’s Legal Program at Americans for Immigrant Justice, said the nonprofit law firm has represented more unaccompanied Cuban children this year. They include teenagers between 16 and 18, although they also have younger clients.
Some have come to reunite with family already living in the United States but others are political-asylum seekers.
Anzardo Valdes said that some of the teenage clients were arrested during the anti-government uprising in July last year and targeted in their aftermath. Two independent groups in Cuba, Justicia 11J and Cubalex, have confirmed the arrests of at least 57 youths under the age of 18 in connection to the protests in Cuba.
‘Our clients have told us that conditions in Cuba have continued to deteriorate, so they are coming to the U.S. to seek a better life,’ she said. ‘They especially highlighted that they feel that conditions have deteriorated since the protests’ last year.”