A mother and daughter had a heartbreaking reunion after nearly two months of separation thanks to the Trump administration’s inhumane “zero-tolerance” policy.
Buena Ventura Martin-Godinez, a 29-year-old mother from Guatemala, entered the United States on May 1 along with his infant son and claimed asylum. A week later on May 8, her husband and 7-year-old daughter also cross the border in an attempt to escape the gang violence back home.
Unfortunately for the immigrant family, Attorney General Jeff Sessions had announced the draconian policy to separate children from their parents at the border just a day earlier – and the father and daughter had no idea about it.
They were both detained upon crossing the border. While the man was reportedly held in Atlanta, the young girl, who didn’t speak English, was taken to Michigan where she was incarcerated for 60 days, during which contracted a tooth infection and suffered high fever as a result of it.
Her mom, however, was miles away and unable to help her daughter.
“She kept screaming, ‘Take me out of here!’” Martin-Godinez told Miami Herald of the first phone call she received from her daughter. “As a parent, you are powerless. All I can do was promise to hug her soon and to buy her toys and clothes to calm her down. ”
She said her daughter kept asking why she had been separated from her family and why she couldn’t see them.
After weeks of struggle, the mother and daughter were finally able to hold each other at the Miami-Dade airport.
“I feel happy that my daughter is with me,” Martin-Godinez told CNN. “But on the other hand, sad because my husband is still in jail and they told him they are going to deport him to Guatemala.”
She also had a tragic warning for other families planning to seek asylum in the United States.
“I would advise people to find another country to seek refuge ... because here the law is very tough. People don't have a heart,” the woman said. “Your child is a treasure and to have them separated is very painful.”
So far, the Trump administration has reportedly separated nearly 2,000 children from their parents, causing a nationwide outcry and sparking massive protests demanding an end to the brutal practice. Although a federal judge has ordered Department of Homeland Security to reunite the immigrant families within 30 days, nothing appears to have done to meet that demand as of yet.
Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters, Loren Elliott