Deadline nears for Brazilian boys to be reunited with detained dads

Two boys from Brazil who have been housed in Chicago while their fathers were detained by immigration officials are expected to be reunited with their dads soon.

Plans to move the boys out of Chicago were revealed late Wednesday in time to meet a judge's deadline.

"It's horrific. It's a trauma unlike any we've ever seen," the families' attorney, Karen Hoffman said.

Hoffman represents two Brazilian boys, who have been held in Chicago, and their migrant fathers. One detained by ICE in Texas, the other in New Mexico.  

On Monday, Judge Edmund Chang gave the government until Thursday afternoon to end their separation. The boys' attorneys said the government faced a dilemma.
“The kids have to be reunited with their father and there's no facility that the government has that can hold the parents and the children together,” Attorney Tom Yardley said.

U.S attorneys, representing the government, told the judge that the reunification process is a very fluid situation ”a mess we're trying to deal with."

On Wednesday, the boys' attorneys said their young clients could be back with their dads soon..The 16-year-old, who appeared in court today, is being transferred to El Paso, Texas. His father will be released from detention but required to wear an ankle monitor. 

The father of the 9-year-old  will be transferred to Chicago, then the two of them will go to family detention center in Pennsylvania. Both boys could be reunified with their dads before the judge's deadline.

“Judge Chang's order yesterday made clear how traumatic this is for the children having been separated from their parents now for forty eight days,” childrens' attorney Amy Rubenstein said. 

Two other boys were recently reunited with their Brazilian mothers here in Chicago. The mothers involved in these two latest cases remain in Brazil.  

“They've been incredibly worried about their sons, and this to them is a huge relief,” Hoffman said.