Renée Feltz: For Some Migrant Families, a Second Separation Awaits

Longtime Rio Grande Valley immigration lawyer Carlos Garcia now ends many of his days at the office by driving to the Port Isabel detention center. He’s there to offer pro bono advice to parents desperate to reunite with children who were taken from them at the US-Mexico border.

Thursday night he had good news after meeting with a mother from Honduras who was fleeing gang violence and requested asylum when she was arrested on June 17 and separated from her 6-year-old son. “She talked to him by phone for the first time,” Garcia recalled. The boy had been asleep when he was taken, and he believed his mother had abandoned him. “She told him, ‘I would never abandon you and I will do everything possible to see you very soon.’’’

But even if Garcia’s client is reunited with her son, that reunion may prove short-lived. Like other migrant parents, she could face a harrowing decision of whether to be deported with him to the danger they sought to escape, or separate again so he can pursue his own asylum case.

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