Darwin Micheal Mejia, left, and his mother Beata Mariana de Jesus Mejia-Mejia are escorted to a news conference after their reunion at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Friday, June 22, 2018, in Linthicum, Md. The Justice Department agreed to release Mejia-Mejia's son after she sued the U.S. government in order to be reunited following their separation at the U.S. border. She has filed for political asylum in the U.S. following a trek from Guatemala.
Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
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.
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.