7-Year-Old Girl from Guatemala Reunites With Immigrant Mother at Miami Airport
The child was taken from her asylum-seeking father at the border.
After two harrowing and heartbreaking months, a 7-year-old girl from Guatemala was finally wrapped in the arms of her mother, who is seeking asylum in the U.S.
Janne Idali Godinez Martin had crossed the Mexican border with her father on May, fleeing rampant crime and intimidation, according to his accounts. Janne was taken from her dad, Pedro Godinez Aguilar and transported to a detention center in Michigan, while Aguilar was sent to Atlanta.
The child's mother, Buena Ventura Martin-Godinez, 29, had fled their home 61 days ago with her baby son and claimed asylum at the border. She has been living with family in Miami ever since.
The father and daughter arrived at the border one day after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced implementation of the "zero-tolerance" policy that forced children to be separated from their parents if they attempted to cross illegally.
At Miami International Airport Sunday, the weeping mother and daughter were finally able to see each other after weeks of tearful phone calls in which Janne told her mother she was sick and suffering from splitting headaches. Her mom, who is a nurse, was unable to translate her daughter's ailments to her English-speaking monitors.
As it turned out, the child had an infected tooth.
"I feel very happy now, and to complete my joy, I would like to have my husband released," the mother said at baggage claim to journalists who had gathered there. But she had a warning to fellow citizens of Central America trying to escape gangs and rampant violence gripping countries there.
"I would advise people to find another country to seek refuge... because here the law is very tough. People don't have a heart," she said, tears streaming down her face. "Your child is a treasure and to have them separated is very painful."
Their family is yet another trying to obtain asylum, saying they can no longer live in their native country. For them, the danger came in the form of demands for protection money from Janne's dad, who owns a small business. If he did not pay, the family would be killed, he said.
So they fled. First the mother and baby. Then the father and daughter.
At hundreds of mass rallies across the U.S. on Saturday, demonstrators demanded an end to President Trump's immigration policies.
Chrissy Teigen and John Legend brought their infant son, Miles, to a gathering in Los Angeles.
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