a woman posing in front of a building: sylvia and sybonea


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Courtesy of Sylvia Acosta

  • Final week, Sylvia Acosta returned house to Texas after a 10-day lengthy journey to Europe.
  • However at customs, Acosta and her daughter Sybonea Acosta-Castillo have been extensively questioned by an agent.
  • Acosta mentioned the customs agent accused her of human trafficking as a result of she and her 15-year-old daughter haven’t got the identical final title.
  • It was an intense ordeal for each girls, they advised INSIDER.
  • In a Fb put up describing the ordeal that has since gone viral, Acosta described the scenario as one thing out of “The Handmaid’s Story.”

After a 10-day academic journey by way of Europe, Sylvia Acosta was wanting ahead to returning house to Texas. However when she arrived on the Dallas-Fort Price Worldwide Airport on Saturday, issues did not precisely go as deliberate.

When Acosta and her daughter Sybonea Acosta-Castillo, 15, tried to undergo customs, they have been extensively questioned by a customs agent, they advised INSIDER.

Though they’d all the required paperwork wanted for worldwide journey, Acosta claims the customs agent did not consider that Acosta’s daughter was her youngster as a result of the ladies did not have the identical final names on their passports. 

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Acosta advised INSIDER she advised the agent that she saved her maiden title for skilled causes. Nonetheless, the agent questioned why she did not take her husband’s final title, for the sake of comfort, Acosta mentioned.

However when Acosta defined that she was divorced and remarried, the agent appeared skeptical. Acosta claims that the customs agent then accused her of human trafficking.

Based on Acosta, the agent repeatedly requested the ladies for added paperwork to show their relation to one another. Nonetheless, girls didn’t have the paperwork readily available, as they’d been touring. 

“Every little thing was superb. We had our passports. We should always have simply been allowed to undergo, however then he began giving us a tough time due to the truth that I had Castillo as my final title,” Acosta-Castillo mentioned. The teenager’s authorized final title is Castillo, though she goes by Acosta-Castillo, she advised INSIDER.

And simply when the ladies thought they have been going to have the ability to go house, the agent despatched them “to the again” for additional questioning the place they have been “lectured” by a gaggle of brokers, Acosta mentioned. Brokers repeatedly requested why Acosta did not simply take her husband’s final title. 

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Whereas they have been being held, Acosta, who’s the CEO of the nation’s largest YWCA in El Paso, Texas, questioned the brokers’ motives.

“Are you saying that I am a human trafficker as a result of I haven’t got the identical final title as my daughter?” she advised INSIDER she requested the officers. “Are you penalizing me as a girl as a result of I didn’t take my husband’s final title? Are you penalizing me as a result of I selected to maintain my title? Are you penalizing me as a result of I selected to get a doctorate … What I am saying is that I am a girl and that you simply’re penalizing me as a result of I selected to maintain my title.” 

After a while and continued questioning, the ladies have been allowed to go.

When she returned house, Acosta took to Fb the place she detailed the scenario in a now-viral Fb put up. She described the ordeal as one thing out of “The Handmaid’s Story.” 

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In her put up, Acosta famous that the entire scenario was “perpetuating an institutionalized misogynistic system which required {that a} lady take her husband’s title.”

Within the days following the incident, she’s had time to ruminate on what occurred.

“I feel establishments want to know that they cannot impose normative behaviors on everyone and that if a girl chooses to maintain her title that ought to not mechanically put her on a human trafficking listing,” she advised INSIDER. “I feel there must be different indicators for that.”

She additionally believes that feminism and motherhood habits aren’t one-size-fits-all in 2018. 

“I feel all businesses want to know that we’re not dwelling within the 1950s and that ladies make selections on daily basis. One of many selections that they might make is to maintain their maiden title, and to have kids, and to have these kids and title them after their father or create new names — or no matter it might be.”

A consultant for US Customs and Border Safety did not instantly return INSIDER’s request for remark.

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