A Guatemalan mother reunited with her seven-year-old son at the Baltimore Airport on Thursday after being apart for over a month. In the now viral video, Beata Mariana de Jesus Mejia-Mejia lovingly clutches onto her son, Darwin. The two were detained on May 19 and sent to an Arizona detainee center after they fled their country to escape death threats and domestic violence from Mejia’s husband. Days later, they were separated.
Mejia, 38, is one of the first immigrants to challenge the Trump administration in court over family separations. Her legal team argued that her rights were violated when they took away her son. On Thursday, a judge announced Darwin would be released back into his mother’s custody.
But Meija’s is just one of the many families who are ramping up to fight the good fight. Several families have followed in her footsteps to file lawsuits against the Trump administration, along with the ACLU.
The video comes a day after the Trump administration says that 500 children have been reunited with their families after being separated at the southern border. In April the administration began enforcing a zero tolerance policy on migrants crossing the border.
A Trump official who spoke under anonymity to the Associated Press says that some children were linked back to their families within days of being divided.
The calls to end the practice have intensified as the weeks grow on. President Trump signed an executive action on Wednesday, but the order placed no effective plan in action to address the 2,000 children who were affected prior to the order’s signing.
The New York Daily News reports the Department of Health and Human Services tapped the Defense Department for aid in housing the detained children as early as July and through the end of the year. Both departments await guidance from the Trump administration in how to move forward since the executive orders signing.
As Texas detention centers swelled under the policy, hundreds of children have been placed on flights to states like New York, California, Arkansas and Florida, where they are being temporarily housed in foster care centers and shelters.