Julie Schwietert-Collazo, from left, of Immigrant Families Together, walks with Rosayra Pablo Cruz, center, as she leaves the Cayuga Center with her sons 5-year-old Fernando, second from left, and 15-year-old Jordy, in New York on July 13, 2018. PHOTO CREDIT: Mary Altaffer / AP via NBC News
The government is slowly making progress in reuniting families after separating migrant children from their parents earlier this year. Every “eligible” child under 5 has been reunited, a total of 57 out of 103. The remaining 46 toddlers are still being held due to issues with their parents (i.e. already deported, currently incarcerated, etc.).
The reunions have been joyful and heartwarming to witness. While both parents and children are overwhelmed with relief and happiness to be together again, they are still recovering from what has been a very traumatic experience for all involved.
“To me, the overwhelming feeling was this is right that they’re being reunited, but this was so wrong from the very beginning, and it didn’t have to happen this way. They should never have been separated in the first place.” ~ Kay Bellor, VP of Programs at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service via AP News
In further news, a federal judge ruled this week that families who have been reunited cannot be deported at this time. The judge is giving these families at least a week to decide if they wish to claim asylum and apply for legal status as refugees.