Immigrant parents may be moved to Texas from SeaTac, Tacoma
Just as a heart-wrenching reunion are takes place in the Seattle area, sources say parents held under President Trump's 'no tolerance' policy in SeaTac and Tacoma could be moved.
The Northwest Immigrants Rights Project got word that the remaining detainees may be transferred to family detention centers in Texas by the July 26th deadline in order to be reunited with their children.
The news came as Yolany Padilla was finally able to hold her 6-year-old Jeslin in her arms again after waiting two long months.
The Honduran mother was the first parent in our region who reunited with her child on Saturday at Sea-Tac Aiport.
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project says on that same day, another client was reunited with her 9-year-old son in Nevada.
“So it’s starting to happen. But it’s not happening fast enough. We believe it should happen much more quickly,” said Jorge Baron, the Executive Director of Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.
Of the 55 parents separated from their children and detained at the federal detention center in SeaTac or Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Baron said 10 parents were released in the past ten days.
"Five were granted bond today. And we hope they will be released later today,” said Baron.
The possible move to Texas worries Baron.
“Our concern is that if they get transferred somewhere else, there's not going to be legal capacity to represent them there,” said Baron.
Latino Civic Alliance responded to the latest potential move by the Trump Administration.
"...instead of spending tax dollars to reunite families, they are spending tax dollars to play the detainee shell game and move them to different states. This is just another method to abuse innocent children and stall reunited families," stated Sandra Rodarte, a board member with LCA.
NWIRP is working hard to get parents released from detention. The group paid and got Padilla released on an $8,000 bond in early July. They say the goal is to help reunite parents and their kids in a suitable place, like in a home where they are going to be with relatives and friends said Baron.
"It’s a lot of hard work on the individual cases to get those families reunited. But, as we saw this weekend, for that family, it’s life-changing to be able to do that. So, we’re hoping that happens as quickly as possible," said Baron.
Padilla is ecstatic to be together with her son again. She's now staying with a volunteer host family. It's the beginning of another chapter that could last months, possibly even years as Padilla waits for her asylum request to be approved.
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project says it will continue to work with the detainees moved to Texas and others who have been released, so they can see their kids again.
The Department of Health and Human services has not responded to our request for comment about the latest development.
Nationwide, more than 2,500 children were separated from their parents.