Buena Ventura Martin-Godinez tearfully embraced her 7-year-old daughter at Miami International Airport after the migrant child was detained for nearly two months at an immigration center in Michigan, CNN reported.
Watch the video below, via CNN:
A 7-year-old girl was reunited with her mom after nearly two months in immigration detention. The mom’s message to other mothers: If you’re thinking of claiming asylum, find another country: “The laws here are harsh. And people don’t have hearts,” she said https://t.co/sTQeJtv5XP pic.twitter.com/eOV50oWXrp
— CNN (@CNN) July 2, 2018
Martin-Godinez said she was forced to leave her daughter, Janne, and husband, Pedro Godinez Aguilar, in Guatemala over 60 days ago when she and her 10-month-old son fled to the United States seeking asylum from local gang violence.
“We were threatened by people, that if we didn’t pay them they were going to kill us, or our kids,” she told CNN.
The couple decided that Martin-Godinez would take their son to the United States and that her husband and their daughter would follow at the end of the school year. However, when word got back to Guatemala that Martin-Godinez had fled to the United States, the threats got worse for Aguilar, forcing him to leave as soon as possible.
The day before he arrived in the U.S., Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the “zero-tolerance” law, strictly limiting asylum regulations. He was separated from his daughter at the border, and she was transferred to a child immigration facility in Michigan.
Martin-Godinez got a call informing her that Janne had been detained.
“She was asking why was she there, why was she separated,” Martin-Godinez said. “Why can’t she see her mom, dad, and brother.”
During Janne’s detainment, she became sick but didn’t know English. Martin-Godinez called and translated voicemails for her daughter’s caseworker, asking for her to be taken to a doctor.
Separated mother, “I left the social worker msgs because she speaks Spanish. I wld tell her my daughter is sick, I begged them to see my daughter but they didn’t pay attn to me,”: 7-yr old reunited with her mom after nearly 2 mos in immigration detention https://t.co/F1AHS1UxXb
— Maya Wiley (@mayawiley) July 2, 2018
“People dream of coming here, to save their lives, but I don’t what them to experience what I’ve gone through,” Martin-Godinez said.
When asked what she would tell others seeking refuge, Martin-Godinez claimed they should find another country.
“The laws here are harsh,” she said. “And people don’t have hearts.”