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A Honduran Family, Reunited


Parents separated from their children at the U.S.-Mexico border are beginning to be reunited. Some of the younger children were returned to their moms and dads this past week. And now the Trump administration has another court-ordered deadline to reunite thousands of older children. In Seattle, a Honduran mother got to see her son for the first time in nearly two months. John Ryan of member station KUOW was there.

JOHN RYAN, BYLINE: Yolany Padilla has her arm around her son's shoulder as they emerged from the arrivals area at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. A small army of reporters awaits them. They are the first family of asylum-seekers to be reunited in the Northwest. Six-year-old Jelsin looks bashful and uncertain about all the TV cameras, but his mom is positively beaming.

YOLANY PADILLA: (Through interpreter) It's been so long since I've seen him. Imagine how I feel inside.

PADILLA: (Through interpreter) It was like my heart was going to come out of my body.

RYAN: Padilla and her son had crossed the border into Texas in May. Immigration officials separated them the day they arrived. Jelsin was sent to New York. His mother was held in detention centers in Texas, where she says conditions were...

PADILLA: (Speaking Spanish).

RYAN: ..."Horrible." Then she was sent to a detention center in Washington state with hundreds of other asylum-seekers. Padilla was released from the center in Tacoma last week. Immigrant advocates in Washington state raised the $8,000 she needed to post bond. Her asylum hearing has not been scheduled. Padilla's interpreter was Jorge Baron. He's head of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.

JORGE BARON: This has happened not because the government is doing the right thing but because people have had to fight with them to make it happen. And so we hope that this just never happens again.

RYAN: A federal judge in California has given the Trump administration until late July to reunite the older children with their parents. The government has identified more than 2,500 children who could, quote, "potentially have been separated from a parent at the border." The judge on Friday said the administration has demonstrated good faith in its efforts to meet that July deadline.

For NPR News, I'm John Ryan in Seattle.

(SOUNDBITE OF CITY OF THE SUN'S "EVERYTHING") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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