We’d like to share a recent example of how your donations are directly helping reunite families separated at the border.
Family From Congo Separated at the Border
Our home for women and children, Posada Esperanza of Casa Marianella, recently helped reunite a family from Congo. The father and his six year old daughter came to immigration at the US/Texas border and asked for asylum. At that point immigration took the child away from the father, put the father in detention, and sent the daughter to an organization in Chicago that serves unaccompanied minors. Three weeks later the mother arrived at the US/Texas border to ask for asylum. She was heavily pregnant. They detained her but just for a few days. They want to release her and ask Posada Esperanza of Casa Marianella if we have room to take her. We took her in, and soon learned that she was in extreme mental/emotional pain as she has no idea where her daughter was.
We start making calls and two days later we made contact with the organization in Chicago who says they have the child. From there, the organization told us of the documents and photos that the mother must provide in order to prove that she is the mother. Many of the items are things that she has to get by contacting people in Congo to send images of. The organization followed up with requests for more documents, clearer images of certain documents, translations into English of the documents, etc. All of this back and forth and waiting on their responses took about two weeks. Meanwhile, the father was released from detention and we moved the mother and father into Casa Salaam, our house for two-parent immigrant families. During the five weeks that we waited to get the child back, the mother and child were granted two 30 minute phone conversations.
It was essential that the mother had a place to live in order for the Chicago agency to return the child. What would a parent do who didn’t have stable housing or simple access to make all these scans, emails, translation, calls? It has taken a lot of logistical navigating, and we are so thankful for our Posada staff who have worked tirelessly over the past 5 weeks to reunite this family.
Reunited at Last
Finally, the daughter was flown from Chicago to Austin this past Tuesday. Mom and Dad were dressed in their Sunday best filled with anticipation to finally have their daughter back with them. The mother is due to give birth this week and her heart will be so much more ready to receive her new child now that she can rest easy that her daughter is back with her. We are providing this family with shelter, food, legal services, and everything they need to heal.
It is bittersweet to feel so much happiness for this family as our hearts break for the thousands of parents and children who have not yet been able to return to each other’s arms. We are doing our absolute best to reunite families, and your donations are directly supporting our efforts. Thank you for your kindness and generosity. #TeamCasa