Lawyer visiting 'devastated' parents separated from kids says most don't know where their child is

A lawyer visiting parents separated from their children at the border said that immigrants he has visited still have not had contact with their child.

He said only 30 percent had some form of contact with their kid.

“So that would be 70 percent that didn’t have any contact with their child, didn’t know where their child was, nothing,” said Ofelia Calderon, an immigration attorney with the Dulles Justice Coalition in Texas. “Of the 30 percent who had had some sort of contact with their child, a very small percentage of them – probably 5 percent – knew where they were.’

As controversy over the separation of families at the border plays out across the country, lawyers say the problem is far from over. The Trump administration said it was halting its zero-tolerance immigration policy that separated families that crossed the border illegally. But it’s unclear what the reunification process will look like and how it will be carried out.

Calderon said she had spoken to 50 to 60 people at the Port Isabel detention center in Los Fresnos, Texas, which will be a primary shelter for reunifications. But, she said, she is not sure if that has started happening.

“I can’t really speak to what their reunification process is going to be because it hasn’t happened,” Calderon said on Monday.

The lawyer said one mom was separated with her child who is deaf and mute.

“So, I mean, that parent is not gonna be able to communicate and that child is not gonna be able to communicate or hear her parent,” she said.

Calderon said she spoke to women who experienced terrible things in the country they fled. Many had been raped. Now, she said, they have to experience being apart from their children.

“I mean yesterday I heard so many stories of women being sexually assaulted over and over again. Really terrible things,” she said. “And yet, the thing that breaks you is when you have to ask about your child. And that’s really tremendous. You’re seeing parents that are just devastated by this separation.”