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Border & Immigration

Honduran Family Pictured Fleeing Tear Gas At US-Mexico Border Released On Parole

Honduran woman Maria Meza sits in a taxi with her children, Dec. 21, 2018.
Jean Guerrero
Honduran woman Maria Meza sits in a taxi with her children, Dec. 21, 2018.

A Honduran woman whose image went viral after she fled tear gas fired by U.S. authorities near the San Diego border on Nov. 25 was released on parole at the San Ysidro Port of Entry with her five children Friday evening, while their asylum proceedings unfold.

Maria Meza and her children — five-year-old twin girls, a three-year-old boy, a 12-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl — walked briskly toward a line of taxis at the San Ysidro Port of Entry after a brief stop at McDonald’s for some snacks. The Honduran mother wore a GPS-monitoring ankle bracelet.

"I don't want to talk right now because I'm nervous," Meza said.

Meza was part of a large group of migrants who traveled from Honduras to seek asylum in the U.S. Her attorneys said the family plans to travel to Baltimore on Saturday to stay with relatives.

The family must report to immigration authorities starting Jan. 3, with a court date on Jan. 31. The six Hondurans were released after three days in detention at the port.

Two members of Congress escorted the family to ask for asylum on Tuesday after they were allegedly being stalked by right-wing activists who thought the tear-gas photo had been staged.

As the taxi pulled away from the port en route to a hotel, Meza’s children waved and smiled from the backseat.

Honduran Family Pictured Fleeing Tear Gas At US-Mexico Border Released On Parole
Maria Meza and her five children were released on parole Friday evening by Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.