All the previously deported parents who had remained in federal immigration detention after returning to the southern border over a month ago in an effort to reunite with their children have been released from custody. Of the 29 parents in the group, 17 had remained in detention “without explanation,” the Los Angeles Times reported. By last Friday, all were free.
The parents had returned to the border in early March, and represent just a few of the hundreds of parents who were deported without their kids by the Trump administration. Many said they were pressured into agreeing to their own deportation even though they had valid asylum claims. Among the returning parents, “all passed credible fear interviews—the first step toward establishing claims for asylum.”
Just as importantly, the parents are now in the process of reuniting with their children, some of whom had been sent to live with relatives in the U.S., and others to foster homes. At least one child was still in a children’s detention center at the time of reporting. “By Friday, two of the parents released this week had been reunited with their children,” the Los Angeles Times continued.
Jesus, among the first of the returning parents to be released from ICE custody last month, had spent nearly a year apart from his son. “I don’t remember what they are like,” 6-year-old Ariel commented before being reunified with his parents and big sister. A leader from Together Rising, one of the groups that have been assisting these asylum-seekers, “showed him a picture of his family, and he beamed with joy, recognition and relief.”