What to Know
- Families who have been separated for months are finally reuniting with their children in New York; on Tuesday, four families reunited
- Catholic Charities and Lutheran Social Services are helping reunite families with a place to stay and connecting them with Legal Aid
- There are still thousands of kids under age 5 still not with their families; in New York, Lutheran Social Services are working on 350 cases
Four migrant families separated at the border under President Trump's zero-tolerance policy were reunited in New York Wednesday.
News 4 New York cameras were the only ones to capture the reunion as two mothers from El Salvador saw their young children for the first time in weeks. They emerged from immigration court on Varick Street in Manhattan Tuesday night, both still required to wear ankle monitoring bracelets.
"I had no idea what was going to happen," said Becky Castillo in Spanish as she was reunited with her 3-year-old son Michael. "How many days, or the process of getting my son back."
"It was very hard. I don't want to wish that on anyone."
Castill said she tried to request asylum at the border, and was separated from her son for 41 days. The other mother said she was taken into custody in Texas, and her 4-year-old daughter was brought to New York for the last 22 days.
Earlier, another parent, who only gave his name as Javier, kissed his 4-year-old son on the cheek, relishing the chance to hold him again after two months apart. A translator with him told News 4, "He's happy to finally be able to be with his child. He had 55 days of not seeing him."
Javier said he came to America to escape the violence in Honduras. He said he never dreamed the U.S. government would take his 4-year-old boy from his arms and send him to a shelter in New York.
"They were the worst days of my life. Minutes turned to days, days turned to months," he said through a translator.
Javier said he was given a phone number to call his son. It didn't work. The father broke down in tears as he recounted what he heard next.
"They told me that someone might have adopted my child, and that I would not be able to see him again," he said.
Catholic Charities and Lutheran Social Services are helping reunite families with a place to stay, and connecting them with Legal Aid. The Trump administration failed to meet a court-ordered deadline to reunite children under 5 years old; it claims it should be able to reunite those children by Thursday morning.
"It's not right that they separate us," said a father named Adan, who was also reunited with his 4-year-old son. "And there's still many that are not together with their children."
There are still thousands of children over the age of 5 still not with their families. Lutheran Social Services says in New York alone, they're working on 350 separated children cases.