Immigration

‘My Son is Traumatized’: The Story behind This Viral Video of Reunited Honduran Family

Advocates say the video, released by the ACLU, sheds light on the trauma felt by children separated from their parents

Immigration officials took Ever Reyes-Mejia’s 3-year-old son from him in the middle of the night at a detention center in south Texas.

Shiny tin foil emergency blankets were keeping them warm when an immigration official told Reyes-Mejia to leave his son and fill out paperwork. His son was already gone when he returned, according to reports by the ACLU.  

It took more than three months for Reyes-Mejia to be reunited with his son, in Michigan. However, two members of their family were still missing. They flew to Houston to meet the boy’s mother and infant sister. 

There, the ACLU of Texas recorded this video at the Bush Intercontinental Airport. 

In the video, the 3-year-old sees his mom for the first time in several months. As they embrace, he pulls away.

“My son is traumatized,” she tells the boy’s father in Spanish. 

“I think the video just captures this sense of uncertainty,” said ACLU immigration attorney Abril Valdes. “This sense of I’m not sure if you’re going to go away again. I think that’s the fear of any child going through this.”

Members of the family will be seeking asylum in the United States. A Houston-based attorney has agreed to take on Ever Reyes-Mejia’s case.  

More than 2,500 kids were separated from their parents during the Trump administration’s child separation policy. Though the majority have now been reunited with their families, more than 500 remain in government custody as they have been deemed “ineligible” for reunification or their parents have already been deported. 

The ACLU only released the name of the father, Ever Reyes-Mejia, to respect the wishes of the family that other names remain private.

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