WASHINGTON (CBS News) – A 7-year-old boy and his migrant mother who were separated have been reunited after she sued in federal court and the Justice Department agreed to release him.
They were reunited at about 2:30 a.m. Friday at Baltimore-Washington International Airport in Maryland, hours after a Justice Department lawyer told a U.S. District Court judge the child would be released.
The mother, Beata Mariana de Jesus Mejia-Mejia, had filed for political asylum after crossing the border with her son, Darwin, following a trek from Guatemala. She said she started crying when the two were reunited and that she’s never going to be away from him again.
Darwin said he was content and happy with the reunion.
The mother and son were to travel to Texas, where they will live while her asylum claim is being decided.
This, as immigration enforcement on the U.S.-Mexico border faced deeper chaos following President Trump’s reversal of a policy separating immigrant children from parents.
A senior Trump administration official told CBS News about 500 of the more than 2,300 children separated from their families at the border under the government’s “zero tolerance” policy have been reunited since that policy began in May. It was unclear how many of the children were still being detained with their families or remain in the U.S.
In the Texas border city of McAllen, federal prosecutors unexpectedly did not pursue charges against 17 immigrants. One said “there was no prosecution sought” in light of Mr. Trump’s executive order ending the practice of separating families.
The administration also says it’s exploring a plan to use U.S. military bases to house up to 20,000 detained immigrant children.