MIAMI.- It had been nearly two months since Buena Ventura Martin Godinez had seen her 7-year-old daughter after the frightened young mother was separated from her family trying to cross from Mexico into the U.S. They’ve spoken tearfully by phone, but seeing her at a Miami airport Sunday for the first time, Martin grabbed the child in a tight embrace, tears running down her cheeks during a reunion she feared may never happen.
“I feel very happy, now and to complete my joy I would like to have my husband released,” Martin said in Spanish as daughter Janne clutched a stuffed dog and blue balloons and played with her younger brother at baggage claim.
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It was a hug two months in the making, when a migrant mother and daughter reunited after they were torn apart by the zero tolerance immigration policy.
The little girl was in the custody of a child welfare agency in Michigan, where Martin said her daughter made several tearful calls to her, asking when they’d be reunited.
The family is one of thousands who have tried to find refuge in the U.S. in recent weeks only to be caught up in the harsh reality of an immigration system that has never been as welcoming as many desperate migrants hoped and has grown harsher under Trump, with the separation of parents from children being used as a means of discouraging illegal immigration.