Heydi Gámez García, a young Honduran immigrant who had attempted suicide earlier this month, died on Thursday, July 18, after being taken off life support by her family, according to CNN.
García, who had been separated from her father and longed for their reunion, was buried in Bayside on Tuesday, July 23.
The teen, who lived in Long Island with an aunt, was separated from her father, Manuel Gámez, four years ago, after Gámez sent García to the United States to escape violence in their home country.
García’s grandfather had been murdered by MS-13 gang members for refusing to make extortion payments, according to CNN, prompting Gámez to move his family north.
García and her aunt Zoila Gámez were granted asylum in the U.S., but her father was not. Despite multiple attempts to join his daughter in New York, Gámez was repeatedly caught at the border.
He was in a detention center in Houston, Texas, when his daughter was rushed to a Queens hospital after attempting to hang herself in her Long Island home. García was declared brain dead at the hospital.
Last week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released Gámez from the detention center for 14 days so that he could attend to his daughter, CNN reported.
He attended his daughter’s funeral with a GPS device locked around his ankle.
Anibel Romero, Gámez’s attorney, told CNN that immigration authorities didn’t find Gámez’s asylum claims credible.
“How is it possible that man who is running away from his country with his kid and his sister gets sort of caught up in this broken immigration system where his daughter is granted asylum, his sister is granted asylum and he ends up getting deported?” Romero asked CNN.