Daphne Alce fled political upheaval and an abusive husband in Haiti. Then she ran from a boyfriend who beat her in Canada and tried to make her way to Philadelphia, where she had sent her children to live with a sister. When Alce tried to cross the US border with a fraudulent passport in October, she was caught and arrested.
US prosecutors, hearing her story, dropped the charges. An asylum officer interviewed her and determined she had a credible fear of persecution if she were deported to Haiti. But immigration officials kept her in jail, holding her in Boston and releasing her only last month after the Globe requested an interview.