Brothers separated at border by Trump administration are reunited after 183 days apart

Apr 25, 2019 by

Daily Kos

Twenty-one-year-old Junior and his little brother, 8-year-old Andy, were reunited in New York City this month.

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It’s not just parents and their children who have been ripped apart at the southern border by the Trump administration, nor has family separation stopped there despite Donald Trump’s executive order last summer. Last week, two brothers who were forcibly separated at the border were reunited outside a New York City foster care center after 183 days.

Twenty-one-year-old Junior has been raising his 8-year-old brother Andy for the past five years. “According to Junior,” CBS This Morning reports, “since Andy was three years old, his older brother is the only person he’s known.” Together, they traveled 1,500 miles from Honduras to the U.S./Mexico border, where they were then forcibly separated by federal immigration officials.

Junior would spend more than two agonizing weeks without any word about about what happened to Andy. Other parents have described similar waits where they weren’t told anything about their kids. When Junior was finally able to speak to him on the phone, he found out Andy had been sent to a foster care center in New York City. “He was crying,” Junior said.

It would be six months before they would see each other again. Last Friday, Junior flew to the New York City agency with all the paperwork he needed to retrieve his little brother from the agency in hand. Just minutes passed, CBS This Morning continued, before Junior walked back out “with his arm tightly wrapped around Andy’s shoulder.” The two returned to Texas, where they continue to wait out their asylum case.

Junior and Andy haven’t been alone. The Trump administration has claimed that the children jailed at the prison camp in Homestead, Florida, are unaccompanied minors, or kids who came to the U.S. alone, but lawmakers who have visited the prison camp say they’ve met children who were also separated from families. “If they came with an uncle, an aunt, an older brother or sister, they’re not considered separated,” said Texas Rep. Sylvia Garcia. Family separation remains a crisis.

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