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A Guatemalan woman and her 7-year-old son were reunited early Friday in Baltimore, one month after immigration officials separated them at the U.S.-Mexico border, according to multiple reports.
Beata Mariana de Jesus Mejia-Mejia filed suit Tuesday against the government, claiming immigration officials “ripped” her son, Darwin, from her after they crossed the border into Arizona last month, Politico reported.
She was reunited with her son around 2:30 a.m. at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, hours after a Justice Department lawyer told a U.S. District Court judge the child would be released.
Mejia-Mejia, 38, told reporters waiting to capture their reunion Friday morning that she could tell from her son’s face that “he’s sad, but we’re going to be together, and no one’s going to separate us again,” The Washington Post reported.
More than a month apart after being separated at the border, this Guatemalan mother got her 7-year-old son back just days after suing top Trump administration officials: https://t.co/CBnStsEbbG pic.twitter.com/sMpVbqvWxZ— CNN (@CNN) June 22, 2018
Mejia-Mejia and Darwin surrendered on May 19 to Border Patrol agents after they crossed from Mexico into the U.S. near San Luis, Arizona, according to the Post. Darwin was held at a shelter in Phoenix before his release Friday, CNN reported.
Mejia-Mejia, who came from Guatemala, filed for asylum after crossing the border. She was fleeing from violence and death threats from her husband, according to CNN.
The Post reported that Mejia-Mejia was not criminally charged for crossing the border. Her attorneys argued that her case “showed that border officials were separating families to deter asylum seekers,” a tactic authorities have denied using.
The Trump administration in April directed prosecutors to pursue cases against all people suspected of crossing the border illegally as part of a “zero tolerance” immigration enforcement policy. Parents were separated from their children as they faced prosecution.
Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
Trump ended the policy Wednesday with an executive order after unsuccessfully calling on Congress to stop the separations through legislation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.