A Guatemalan migrant living in Miami — reunited over the weekend with her young daughter after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border — has a message for asylum seekers: find refuge in another country because Americans “don’t have hearts.”
Buena Ventura Martin-Godinez reportedly entered through the U.S.-Mexico border with her son on May 1, and her husband, along with their 7-year-old daughter Janne Idali Godinez Martin, crossed into the country one week later. Martin-Godinez’s husband was subsequently placed in custody at a detention center in Atlanta, Georgia, while Janne was sent to Michigan.
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/NVa5kjK8DU
— CNN (@CNN) July 2, 2018
After two months of separation, Buena and Janne were reunited on Sunday at Miami-Dade airport.
“She is asking to never be separated from her mother again,” a tearful Janne told her mother as the two embraced one another, a translator said.
In a statement published by CNN, Buena Ventura Martin-Godinez criticized the Trump administration’s “harsh” immigration policies. “The laws here are harsh. And people don’t have hearts,” the asylum seeker claimed. “People dream of coming here, to save their lives, but I don’t what them to experience what I’ve gone through.”
The Justice Department instituted a “zero tolerance” policy in April aimed at clamping down on illegal border crossings. Over the past year, the number of illegal aliens smuggling children across the border to pose as families, triggering “catch and release,” grew by more over 300 percent.
Agents have separated 1,995 children from adults while illegally crossing the Southern border between April 19 and May 31, according to the Department of Homeland Security. The Department of Health and Human Services provide immigrant minors with food, shelter, and medical care.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on June 20 to halt the separation of immigrant families at the border. “We’re going to have strong, very strong borders, but we’re going to keep the families together,” President Trump told reporters prior to signing the order in the Oval Office. “I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated.”