The calls for help started coming in to immigration lawyers across the country just before Memorial Day. Immigrant detainees, many fleeing gangs and violence and seeking legal asylum in the U.S., were flooding courtrooms along the Southwest border.
Dozens were parents reporting that Border Patrol agents had taken away their children, and many were under the impression they would see their sons and daughters again within hours.
“It’s been incredibly hard to figure out how to get this family out,” Aranda said.
Other advocates said they hadn’t been allowed on the grounds of some shelters, hurting their access to families. “Some are told to report to Immigration and Customs Enforcement in a week but may not understand what to do to avoid being detained again,” said Bethany Carson, an organizer with Grassroots Leadership in Austin, Texas. Read more about Family separation crisis continues on border even as court-ordered deadline nears