Father of murdered 13-year-old denied a temporary visa to attend her funeral
On November 5, Hania Aguilar was kidnapped from her front yard on Elizabethtown Road and forced into the family's SUV by a man wearing all black and a yellow bandana. The police issued an Amber Alert.
On November 28, preliminary test results from the medical examiner indicated that a body found by the police was that of Aguilar. Her father has since tried to get a non-immigrant visa to come to the US to attend her funeral but his request was denied.
Hania Aguilar, 13, is set to be buried on Saturday in Lumberton. On Monday, her father Noé Aguilar traveled to the US Embassy in Guatemala City to seek expedited approval for a temporary visa to fly to the US.
Being a Guatemala resident meant that Noé would need a special visa to attend his daughter’s funeral. According to his lawyer, Naimeh Salem, the teenager’s father was denied a visa because American officials worried he didn’t have strong ties to Guatemala and might not return.
For more on this story go to our Twitter account @amomama_usa. She stated:
“They said he doesn’t have enough ties to the country to issue him a temporary visa to go to Hania's funeral.”
Salem, an immigration lawyer based in Texas added:
“To tell you the truth, with past administrations, we never had a problem like this. With this administration, most everything that is discretionary is getting denied.”
By Thursday, news had spread of Noé’s and Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, offered to assist. He wrote a letter asking the State Department to reconsider the father’s application.
Even the office of Representative Mark Meadows, a Republican, has also intervened. Hania was kidnapped on the in early November outside her mother’s house in a mobile home park in Lumberton, North Carolina.
Some witnesses recalled seeing a man wearing dark clothes and a yellow bandanna force the teenager into a sports utility vehicle and drive off. An online petition to allow her father into the country has gained more than 50,000 signatures.
Supporters have also donated a home to her family near the neighborhood where she was taken. The FBI and the state of North Carolina are currently offering a reward of $30,000 for information in the case as the killer still hasn’t been found.
Hania’s body was found in Robeson County a few miles from her home. This was after the stolen SUV was found abandoned less than 10 miles from her home.
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