While some may believe that family separation is over, nothing could be further from the truth. The Washington Post reports that at least 500 children remain separated from at least one parent. The reasons the government is giving for this issue varies, however, federal officials have branded parents as unfit to take care of their kids and some parents have already been deported. They’ve had no other choice but to leave their kids in the system because they literally cannot be reunited with them.
According to The Washington Post:
“Their lawyers are locating parents in their home countries to ask whether they want their children sent back, or would rather have them remain in the United States to pursue their own immigration claims. At the same time, the lawyers are trying to bring some deported parents back to seek permission to live in the United States — a decision that might end up with U.S. District Judge Dana M. Sabraw, who issued the reunification order.”
PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor highlighted one of those stories this week via Twitter. She discussed the case of Misael Ponce Herrera, a father of 6-year-old Marianita, who was separated from his daughter in June. She reports that Misael attempted to escape the violence and poverty in his native country of Honduras. However, that’s where he is right now once again, but this time without his child.
The policy of family separation at the border has left hundreds of immigrant families split apart. For one man in Central America, it has meant months of separation from his daughter and lingering, painful questions. @Yamiche reports. pic.twitter.com/aVgtELifIE
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) September 18, 2018
According to Alcindor, Misael was pressured into signing a deportation order. Marianita is in an immigration shelter in New York.
“Misael is one of 414 parents that the Trump administration deported without their children under the president’s zero-tolerance policy,” Alcindor said on Twitter. “So far, 21 children have been reunited with their parents in their home countries. These may be the toughest families to reunite.”
One of the harshest realities for these families is when they’re able to speak to their children. Marianita’s mom, Ana, has been able to reach her daughter and she said each time she speaks to her daughter she cries and says she wants to leave the detention center. “She always tells me she doesn’t want to be there anymore,” Ana said. “I tell her to wait and wait.”