Brazilian woman fights to be reunited with son detained in Chicago
A Brazilian woman hadn't seen her son in three weeks.
But on Tuesday, she got one hour with him while she and her attorney wait in Chicago, hoping their federal complaint to have them reunited is granted.
The two were separated at the Mexican port of entry and her only son was sent to Chicago.
Lydia Souza reportedly fled Brazil because of a life or death domestic situation. Her attorney argues she did everything she was supposed to at the border looking for asylum. So why, after 27 days, has she still not gotten him back?
Her attorney, Jesse Bless, blames rules and red tape that change by the second. Had the two tried to enter after President Trump's “zero tolerance” policy was reversed, they say this wouldn't have been an issue.
“We are in this situation because there was zero thought to someone like my client who presented a valid claim, whose child was separated, moved 1000 miles, how do we reunite? There was no plan,” Bless said.
Bless says Souza entered the U.S. from Brazil through Mexico legally after passing a credible fear interview that determined she was in need of asylum. She is allowed to stay in the U.S. while her full case is being heard.
And while Souza was only briefly detained, and then released, her 9-year old son Diogo was not. She's now living with family in Massachusetts while her son is at a facility in Chicago. Her attorney filed a complaint in federal court Tuesday that alleges Diogo has been unlawfully held for 27 days.
“Just God can repay these people who have done so much for me and today, I just want to leave here with my son,” Souza said.
Souza says her son celebrated his 9th birthday alone. She also told a Boston TV station that Diogo was separated from other kids at the facility after he came down with chicken pox. Mom says she has gotten very little information about his illness.