Explore and learn more about how families have triumphed and remain reunited.
DIYANNA & PAMELA
Denise brought from Honduras the most valuable gifts one can give to a nation - her two young children, Diyana and Pamela. Yet she was jailed for it and her children torn from her and given to others. These young girls were interned at a Dilley Refugee Camp. Diyana is smart as a whip and learned English while interned at the Dilley refugee camp. Pamela has also learned English, and is an honors student. They are now free and living with their mom Denise in Galveston, Texas.
Juanita, 8 years old, is native Mayan. She and her family speak a Mayan dialect. She was locked-up at a Texas internment camp for almost 5 months after being ripped from her father's arms. Her father, fleeing violence and poverty in Guatemala, was deported without her. Juanita had cellmates, a booking photo, prison ID and a canteen account. She was treated just like a criminal. Despite this, Juana learned to speak Spanish while interned, and is now fluent in 2 languages. She was a frightened and timid child when we walked out of court with her to fly to her waiting family. However, this resilient little girl was playing with her brother Pascual, an activity she desperately missed, the day after we delivered her to her family in Guatemala.
Samir was separated from his mother, Levis at the border. The agents took him away from his mother saying they were just going to give him a bath but then transported him more than 1,000 miles away and held him captive. Mother and son were kept at separate facilities for two months. Levis and Samir now live in a new house belonging to the church, a home with a real bathroom. Levis has begun learning English and Samir started school in September. They are the first steps into a new life, but nobody knows how long it will last.
Elsa Johana Ortiz Enriquez had imagined the harrowing journey many times: seven days on the road from Guatemala to Mexico with her 8-year-old son, Anthony. But just 24 hours after they arrived in McAllen, Texas, the reality was far different: Immigration authorities entered their cell and grabbed her son. Ten days later, Elsa was deported. On August 14, the 81st day of their separation, Anthony walked into an immigration courtroom in downtown Houston. Eight hours after his hearing, officials handed over Anthony to Ricardo de Anda at the airport in Houston. This young man returned to Guatemala and was reunited with his mother in August 2018.