‘It’s Like Each Day Is a Year’: A Migrant Mother’s Wait for a Reunion

July 13, 2018
The New York Times

BROWNSVILLE, Tex. — The mother in Room 211 was separated from her 17-year-old daughter by Border Patrol agents after they had crossed the Rio Grande on a tire. Since then, it had been 40 days. The same number as her age.

“It’s like each day is a year,” said the mother, who asked to be identified by her middle name, Isabella.

Isabella wore a new black tank top, black leggings and sneakers. She bought none of it herself. Last night’s fajita dinner, the motel room, her $1,500 bond to get released out of Hutto — all of it was supplied by Claudia Muñoz, an immigrant advocate who works for Grassroots Leadership, a nonprofit group in Austin that fights mass incarceration, detention and deportation.

“A godsend,” Isabella said.

Bethany Carson, who works with Ms. Muñoz at Grassroots Leadership, came by the room then with the good news: It was time to go to the shelter. They were ready. Isabella’s bed was made. Her boyfriend’s red duffel bag was packed.