Migrant Mother Featured in Viral Photo Fleeing Tear Gas Attack At Border to Join Congressman Jimmy Gomez as State of the Union Guest

Los Angeles, February 3, 2020
Los Angeles — Today, Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) announced that Maria Lidia Meza Castro, a 41-year old mother of nine from Honduras, will accompany him as his guest to the State of the Union address.
 
Last year, Maria made the treacherous journey to the U.S. with 5 of her children, only to be tear gassed by immigration officials at the border. Maria and her twin daughters were photographed during this attack, an image that provoked widespread outrage. Unfortunately, her family was forced into hiding after right-wing media reported the photographs to be staged, resulting in thousands of people harassing the family on social media.
 
Only after being accompanied by Congressman Jimmy Gomez and Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragan was Maria eventually allowed entry into the U.S. and processed for asylum. Maria remains in constant fear for the safety of the four children she left behind in Honduras, including her 16-year-old son who is paraplegic and cannot walk or travel.
 
“Maria’s profound courage and strong love for her children were clear the moment I met her last year at the southern border,” said Congressman Gomez. “Soon, that strength and resilience will be on full display as she joins me for this year’s State of the Union. As the Trump administration continues to attack our immigrant communities and spread vicious lies about their character, I can’t think of a more critical time in our history to have a brave woman like Maria in the very chamber where the president will deliver his State of the Union address.”
 

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