NewsRegion N Palm Beach CountyJupiter


Deadline to reunite immigrant families separated at the border approaches

Posted: 5:36 PM, Jul 26, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-26 18:09:34-04
Deadline to reunite immigrant families separated at the border approaches

Time is running out for the Trump Administration to meet a judge's deadline to reunite hundreds of immigrant families separated at the border. 

More than 2,500 immigrant children separated from their parents were supposed to be reunited with them by 6 p.m. Thursday. 

It's unclear how many children of the 1,000 once living at the temporary shelter in Homestead are still there waiting to be reunited with their parents. 

The government has said more than 900 parents either can't be found, have already been deported without their children, or have serious criminal records. 

"It is very sad and on top of that, they send the children in front a judge when they don't know how to express themselves," said an immigrant mom who wanted to remain anonymous. 

The Jupiter woman said she sticks to familiar places like the grocery store. She said she feels for the 400 parents who have already been deported without their children.  "I would not want to be in the shoes of those families, and each mom suffering," she said. 

Another immigrant mother, also undocumented, said her biggest fear is being separated from her children.
"I get scared to go out in public because of my daughters," said Luisa Sontay. 

The government said more than 1,000 children are back with their parents, but in hundreds of cases the parents of children between 5 and 17-years-old have already been deported without their children.

According to the government, 127 parents waived reunification before deportation; a difficult decision some parents had to make in a short amount of time. 

"If that moment came and I was going to be deported, I would ask to take my kids with me," said Sontay, who could not bear leaving her 5-year-old and 4-month-old behind.   

The American Civil Liberties Union has concerns that not all parents given the form to waive reunification understand what they are signing. 

It is unclear what the penalty is if the Trump Administration fails to meet the deadline for reunification.