In June, once school let out in rural Dutchess County, New York, I packed up my 7-year-old son and drove 2,054 miles to the Texas-Mexico border. I needed to see with my own eyes what is happening to migrant children separated from their parents as a result of the Trump administration’s escalated “zero tolerance” immigration policy.
Last Saturday, we met a mother, Lesvia, who came to the U.S. from Guatemala with her son, Yudem, almost two months ago. She was taken into custody 56 days ago and finally released from the T. Don Hutto immigration detention center in Taylor, Texas, on Thursday. She was driven to Brownsville by representatives of the Austin-based organization Grassroots Leadership, who had advocated for her release, to have a one-hour visit with 10-year-old Yudem, who is being held at Casa El Presidente. She hadn’t seen or spoken to him in over a month. She sobbed as she was led away from our tent while CNN’s news cameras surrounded her.