A Central American woman who crossed the Rio Grande into Texas last year with her son plans to file a lawsuit against the Trump administration because U.S. border control agents took her soon away for weeks.
Patricia didn’t know what had happened to her son Alessandro for nearly three weeks after they were taken into custody in June 2018. Authorities took her to Port Isabel Detention Center near Brownsville, Texas and didn’t give her any access to lawyers, money for phone calls or answers to her questions.
Patricia finally received a note with the phone number of the place where Alessandro was being held.
“I was … wanting to cry and scream, but I made myself strong so I wouldn’t make him feel bad,” said Patricia. “He would ask me, ‘Mommy, when are we going to be together, when are we going to be reunited?’ And I would say, ‘Ya, mijo, ya.”
Patricia didn’t have any more money to call Alessandro again. When former California deputy attorney general Maggy Krell visited Patricia, she felt a sigh of relief.
Krell was able to locate Alessandro by using a list of alien registration numbers given to immigrants when they’re detained. She was able to get Patricia released and drove her to the facility where her boy was being held. However, it took an additional week for him to be released to her.
Patricia and her son are now living with her brother. She’s working at a Korean fast-food chain and Alessandro just finished the first grade.
Even though Patricia was reunited with her son, they are both still deeply affected by what happened. Patricia said that her son is afraid to be apart from her and cries all the time.
Patricia wants the Trump administration to take responsibility for what her family had to go through.
“Every moment that I think about it makes me cry,” she said. “To have us separated was an injustice. Everybody has the right to want a better life.”