A little girl, who’s voice and cries were heard around the world, today is smiling. Alison Jimena Valencia Madrid, the 6-year-old girl who was recorded pleading with immigration officials after being separated from her mother, Cindy, in mid June is now back in her arms.
Alison and Cindy were reunited last night at a Houston airport after the mom was released from the Port Isabel Detention Center in Texas earlier this week, according to CNN. Reporters captured Alison, hand-in-hand, with her mom and smiling from ear-to-ear.
BREAKING: Remember that audio we published of 6-year-old Alison Jimena Valencia Madrid begging a border agent to call her aunt after they separated her from her mother? Here's video of that little girl being reunited with her mother this morning, after a month and two days. pic.twitter.com/q1plhAHrHQ
— ProPublica (@ProPublica) July 13, 2018
In June, we reported about the leaked audio, in which a reporter played aloud when Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was giving a press conference in the White House. Nielsen did not comment on the heartbreaking audio, but has been receiving major backlash for her policies. It was Alison that could be heard clearly and told officers that she had her aunt’s phone number, and that they should call her right away. Alison memorized her aunt’s phone number for weeks during the period that her and her mother were being smuggled into the U.S.
Cindy and her daughter escaped their native country of El Salvador because of the mounting violence they face. According to CNN, Cindy says her daughter was kidnapped there.
“God put an angel in her path to record that audio,” Cindy told CNN last month about the recording with her daughter. “That started everything. That person will be blessed more than any of us. My daughter helped bring positive change for the mothers. … She stood up for all of us.”
It remains unclear what the next steps for Cindy and Alison will be, or whether they will continue their asylum proceedings. Either way, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has already said that they will be turning away more and more cases in which people are seeking asylum.