Child, mother reunited in Houston after being separated at border

By Sofia Ojeda - Anchor/Reporter, Aaron Barker - Senior Web Editor

HOUSTON - A child who was separated from her mother at the border was reunited Friday in Houston.

Hand in hand and all smiles, Cindy Madrid and her 6-year-old daughter, Allison, walked out of Bush Intercontinental Airport. They were separated at the border last month when the two entered the country from El Salvador seeking asylum.

Officials at a nonprofit organization inside a U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility said they made a recording of 10 migrant children, between 4 and 10 years old, crying after being separated from their parents last month.

“I don’t want them to stop my father,” one child can be heard saying in Spanish. “I don’t want them to deport him.”

Madrid said she recognized Allison’s voice in that recording.

“(I) started thinking about what she was going through,” Madrid said in Spanish. “I realized how sad she was. A mother knows her child’s voice.”

The Trump Administration has since done away with its zero-tolerance policy of families crossing the border illegally but has begun turning away migrants at the border. A new asylum policy has also been implemented, which includes illegal entry being taken into consideration when making a decision about the request.

Federal officials said 46 children still remain in government custody. Officials said 22 could not be reunited because their parents have criminal records or the person they crossed the border with was not their parent. The remaining 24 could not be returned because their parent had either already been deported or was in jail for other offenses.

A judge has set a July 26 deadline for children between 5 and 17 years old to be reunited with their parents.

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