Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.
The girls, 8 and 11, were alone in a rented room in a dangerous Mexican city bordering Texas. Their father had been attacked and abandoned on the side of a road and they didn't know where he was.
For seven months the children had waited with their dad in Matamoros, across from Brownsville, to ask U.S. authorities for asylum. They had fled their home after death threats from local gang members and no help from police. They had also been victims of sexual assault.