Iowa superintendent opens the home to immigrant teenager

DES MOINES, Iowa – The superintendent of Iowa’s largest school district and his wife are opening their home to a 17-year-old Guatemalan immigrant after her parents were forced to leave the US because they were not in the country legally.

The Des Moines Register reports that Jennifer Galdames applied for lawful residence before her stepfather and mother were forced to return in October to their home countries of Mexico and Guatemala, respectively. Jennifer’s mother took her 8-year-old sister from Guatemala.

Jennifer is a year and a half from graduating and do not want to move to New Jersey to live with a relative she had never met, so Des Moines Schools Superintendent Tom Hearts and Jami Bassman Hearts offered to take her and serve as temporary guardians, so she can get her high school diploma in Iowa.

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