Riverside, California 2021-12-08 00:04:25 –
Advocates say immigrant families often face the “painful” choice of staying with their children or sending them to the United States alone.
Houston — Editor’s Note: KENS 5 has renamed some of this story and does not use surnames to protect people.
Stepping into Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport always feels like an end and a beginning. The Catalina family is here for both.
“One minute feels like a couple of hours,” she told KENS5 in Spanish.
These last hours at the IAH mark the end of Catalina’s wait. It started a few weeks ago when her sister and her three children (ages 14, 11, and 10) lived in a refugee camp in Reynosa, Mexico, across the McAllen border.
The family told KENS5 that they had traveled from Honduras, crossed the border into the United States, were expelled by border guards, and stayed like thousands of other immigrants in Reynosa camp. They say the camp was better than the house.
However, it was difficult for Catalina to see her niece and nephew living in the tent city.
“I was able to watch video calls on how children sleep, how they can withstand the cold, how they can withstand the rain, and how they sleep on the floor,” Catalina said. .. “That’s why I said I needed to bring my children (here).”
Catalina told KENS5 to push her sister and send the children alone across the border.
The United States will expel families under Title 42, a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rule enforced during the Trump administration at the beginning of the pandemic. This allows border guard agents to exclude migrants from the country due to public health emergencies.
The Biden administration continues to use Title 42, a move that has been highly criticized by doctor groups and human rights advocates.
However, the administration does not expel unaccompanied minors.
The administration’s use of Title 42 has been blamed on parents sending their children alone, running the risk of getting stuck in immigration camps, or worse, what is called “forced family separation” at the border. increase. He has been kidnapped, assaulted, and killed while living there.
“These mothers who just want to keep their children safe are aware that they can’t keep their children safe in Mexico,” said Chief Financial Officer Casey Lebkin. Each step home, A non-profit organization advocating for detained migrant children. “But they know that if they send their children across the border alone, they will be accepted, but only if they cross the border alone. So they are from the children. Make this tragic decision to send the children away and across the border alone, and that’s really sad.
“Then, these children arrive in our country as unaccompanied minors and are detained as unaccompanied minors until they are released to their families.”
Catalina’s sister and child’s mother told KENS5 that it took courage to send the children alone with a human smuggler called a “coyote.”
“I can imagine how I felt, like when I saw them leave,” the children’s mom told Reynosa’s KENS5. “They left and I came to the tent and cried. Pray and ask God to empower me.”
The children crossed the Rio Grande on a raft in the hope that they would eventually arrive at Aunt Catalina in Houston.
“They say they didn’t walk much,” Catalina told KENS5. Then immigrants took them. ”
The children spent several weeks in federal prison and were released to take care of Catalina.
So, at IAH on Monday night, Catalina and the whole family scattered around the world were waiting for a new beginning for Mariel, Angelie and Dylan 10.
“We will take care of them and give them what they need,” Catalina said. “We’re going to make sure they’re okay. It’s our turn, we have to do it. We’re all a family.”
The reunion was loud and full of tears, hugs and kisses.
“I’m full of happiness because they’re here,” Catalina said. “Because the impossible was possible. With God, there is nothing impossible. I am happy that I have done a lot of things I want to do. I am happy and very happy.”
“I’m happy. I feel happy,” Angelie added.
The children’s mom and dad are still in Mexico and their own future is uncertain. But these kids can now make their own and hope to someday include their parents.
“We love them and want to meet and hug them someday,” said Dylan and Mariel.
Lebkin told KENS5 that each step home is helping children, such as helping them enter school and connect with local services.
Lebkin said the children had openly claimed asylum. They can stay in the United States while passing through the court system and may stay longer if asylum is granted.
‘The impossible was possible’: Honduran children reunited with aunt after crossing US-Mexico border unaccompanied Source link ‘The impossible was possible’: Honduran children reunited with aunt after crossing US-Mexico border unaccompanied