Immigrant father claims 4-year-old son was injured in federal custody
Three undocumented immigrant parents were reunited with their children, and spoke out the day after about the ordeal.
The Annunciation House, a refugee shelter, in south central El Paso held a news conference Wednesday with two of three immigrant dads that were reunited with their young children Tuesday evening. They shared their experiences of separation and their joyful reunion.
Roger and Pablo Ortiz, undocumented immigrant dads, stayed at Casa Vides overnight, a shelter run by Annunciation House.
Ruben Garcia is the director of Annunciation House. He said federal agencies made appropriate efforts to meet the deadline set by a federal judge.
"They were exempted both from ankle monitors, the parents are not wearing ankle monitors and they were also exempted from the DNA. All that ICE said to me is that they had done the background checks that they needed to be satisfied and they were ready to release them," Garcia said.
Roger, who is from Honduras, said his 4-year-old son was hit multiple times while he was in government custody.
He told a room of reporters he had been separated from his son since February when he arrived at a port of entry seeking asylum.
Roger said he regrets coming to this country after the traumatic experience both he and his son have experienced.
"This is something that I'll never forget. It was practically a nightmare," Roger said.
That's why now he's warning others back home in Honduras.
"Don't try to cross here, it's incredibly horrible," Roger said.
He said the discrimination he has faced has been incredibly terrible and that it’s not the way Americans would be treated if they went to his country.
The Honduran father tells us despite the bad experience they will continue their case in the U.S.
The U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary said he's proud of the work the agency is doing to reunite children.
"We've saved kids' lives by keeping them from being with some really evil people some of them are keeping them with people who are not their parents," Alex Azar said.
Tuesday’s reunion occurred on the deadline set by a federal court for the reunification of so-called tender-age immigrant children with their parents. Another deadline set for July 26 requires all other children, five years and older, to be reunited with parents.