An Abused Woman Came to the U.S. Seeking Asylum. The Government Took Her 5-Year-Old Son. This Is How She Got Him Back.

An Abused Woman Came to the U.S. Seeking Asylum. The Government Took Her 5-Year-Old Son. This Is How She Got Him Back.

Delia’s 5-year-old son.  [Photo: Verónica G. Cárdenas for The Intercept]

Delia’s 5-year-old son. [Photo: Verónica G. Cárdenas for The Intercept]

A Guatemalan woman whose child was taken from her last month by immigration authorities in Texas after coming to the U.S. seeking asylum was released after 38 days in detention last week. Immediately after being freed, she went to the federally funded facility that was managing her 5-year-old son’s care and recovered him.

Immigrants rights activists and attorneys say this may be the first such family — at least in Texas — to be separated and then reunited since Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on May 7 that migrant parents and their children at the border would be split up and the children put into government holding centers and foster care. On June 19, a Border Patrol spokesperson told reporters that 2,342 children were taken from their parents between May 5 and June 9 as a result of the “zero tolerance” “prosecution initiative.” There is poor coordination between Customs and Border Patrol, which takes the children, and the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which puts them into shelters and foster care. As a result, many parents and children don’t know one another’s whereabouts. Mothers and fathers are being deported while their sons and daughters remain in the U.S. The Guatemalan woman and her child were luckier.

Debbie Nathan, writing for The Intercept, won an Edward R. Murrow Award for her border reporting. Check out her story on this Guatemalan mother who was reunited with her five-year-old son. Read it at the link below.

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