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How separation at border works and what's next for children

Posted at 8:14 AM, May 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-12 11:14:23-04

SAN YSIDRO, Calif. (KGTV) – Earlier this week, ABC 10News spoke with a woman named Sollere who is from Colombia.

“I crossed with my grandson and my son,” Sollere said.

She told ABC 10News she was seeking asylum with her six-year-old grandson and her son, but the two were separated.

“They took my grandson, but in as a separate process, they let him stay but sent us back,” Sollere said.

She’s trying to have some hope in a beyond troubling moment amid a beyond trying situation.

“For them to tell me anything about the child, and for him to be released to his dad on that side,” Sollere said.

On Thursday, ABC 10News reached out to U.S. Customs and Border Protection regarding this kind of separation.

A Border Patrol spokesperson told ABC 10News that migrant children under 18 who are without a parent or legal guardian are considered unaccompanied. Those unaccompanied children are then processed in line with CBP policy and then turned over to the appropriate agency based on where they’re from originally.

“Now, as far as the children, again, they’ll going into the ORR. And the Office of Refugee Resettlement, they’ll look for a sponsor. It could be another parent,” said Richard Villasana, founder of Forever Homes for Foster Kids.

Villasana said he’s worked cases similar to Sollere’s in the past and they can pose some challenges.

“These children can still get separated because there’s the question of, ‘Is it really your grandmother or is it, you know, someone who’s bringing you up that the family has paid?’ This is not legitimate. And it’s a challenge because these agents don’t get that kind of in-depth training to able to ferret the truth,” Villasana said.

With Title 42 coming to an end, Sollere has a message for others.

“Please if you’re an uncle, a grandparent, don’t bring the kids because if it’s not with the mom or dad, they’ll take them from you, that’s very painful, it’s something we didn’t know,” Sollere said.