A migrant mother has been reunited with her 7-year-old son after being separated for more than a month following their illegal entry in the US from Guatemala.
Watch the moment the mother reunites with her son in the video below.
Video Credit: Global News
Beata Mariana de Jesus Mejia-Mejia emotionally embraced her son Darwin at around 2:30 am on Friday morning at Baltimore-Washington International Airport in Maryland, hours after the child was ordered to be released by the District Court.
The 38-year-old mother had sued in federal court to get her boy back but the US Department of Justice ordered to release the boy after his mother applied for political asylum.
When the mother and the son saw each other again, they were both struggling with tears. Mejia-Mejia told reporters that she will never be away from her son again.
They were to travel to their newly adopted hometown in Austin, Texas until her asylum claim is being decided.
The 7-year-old seemed shy in front of the cameras but the mother later told the Washington Post that she could tell little Darwin was upset.
‘Look at his face – he’s sad, but we’re going to be together, and no one’s going to separate us again,’ she said.
According to her lawsuit which was the first one to challenge the government’s removal of children from parents in the course of upholding federal immigration law, Mejia-Mejia was not indicted for entering illegally in the US, but authorities still wouldn’t tell her where she was standing.
Mejia-Mejia told Daily Mail through a Spanish translator that she only intended to get her son back and politics wasn’t a motive behind her actions.
‘Right now my main focus is to get Darwin back in my arms,’ she said. ‘I am a mom, and mothers fight for their children. I hope my fight can help other moms avoid this horror in their lives.’
‘All I want is to be with my son. I want to see him. I appreciate very much the attorneys and all of their help. I want to be with my son; I want to see him again,’ she told reporters after learning that her son would be reunited with her.
The decision came a day after Trump signed an executive order and ended the policy of separating children from their families at the border. However, the order doesn’t clarify how the 2,300 children held at shelters will be reunited with their separated families.
After winning the case, her lawyers now intend to broaden the lawsuit to class-action lawsuit for the purpose of helping other children reunite with their separated families.
‘This child is not the only child,’ her attorney Mario Williams, of Nexus Derechos Humanos Attorneys, told CNN. ‘There’s thousands of children similarly situated we have to do something about.
According to attorney Mario Williams, Mejia-Mejia left her hometown due to spousal abuse at the hands of her violently alcoholic husband who she says threatened to kill her.
The mother and the son entered the United States on May 19 near San Luis, Arizona, and turned themselves in to the US Border Patrol agents ‘with the intention of seeking asylum.’
Mejia-Mejia says officials took her boy after they spent 2 days in ‘la hielera’ – the ‘cooler.’
‘Men dressed in green uniforms (border agents) told Ms. M. they needed to take her son and would not tell her why. Ms. M. said “no” and demanded an explanation, but they would not tell her why they needed to take her seven-year-old son, and they took him anyway,’ the legal complaint reads, referring to the mother only by her initials.
‘The border agents did not tell Ms. M. where they were taking her son,’ who was ‘screaming and crying.’
‘That was the last time Ms. M. saw her son,’ said the lawsuit.
The Trump administration has urged asylum-seekers to enter the United States at official ‘ports of entry.’
But Mike Donovan, CEO of Libre by Nexus – the firm from Harrisonburg, Virginia that bailed the mother out for free – said that Mejia-Mejia didn’t know where to go.
‘She doesn’t have GPS. She didn’t have Google Maps,’ Donovan said.
‘This woman doesn’t understand where a “port of entry” is. She’s navigating three countries to get here. She doesn’t even know where the border is.’
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