Last week, President Trump signed an executive order, reversing his own policy of separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. While this cruel and inhumane practice comes to a close, it still does nothing for those families who have already been torn apart. And according to one immigration lawyer, there’s no guarantee that families will be reunited.
So far, only about 21 percent of children have been reunited with their families. And the prospects look incredibly dire for separated families, like the one New York immigration attorney, Jose Xavier Orochena, is trying to help.
Orochena is hard at work trying to reunite a mother with her three children. She fled from what Orochena described as “extreme violence” in her home country of Guatemala.
She was detained at the border and is now being held at an Arizona detention center. Her children were taken from her, landing in New York, where they are staying at the Cayuga Center in Harlem. Her children are ages 5, 8 and 10.
Orochena will plead the the mother’s case and try to get her released on bond next week. Once she is released on bond, Orochena will try to reunite her with her children.
However, even this isn’t as simple as it sounds.
According to Orochena, “A bond can be set anywhere between $1,500 to $25,000. If it’s a $25,000 my client will stay in custody”, making it impossible to reunite the family.
He explains, “If the judge…sets a high bond that my client’s family cannot pay, she will have to fight her case in custody…If she’s in custody, it’s very likely she’ll lose her application for asylum, it’s likely she will be deported and it’s very likely she won’t be here in a New York court where a judge will determine where these children will go.”