Mother released from ICE custody holds her kids for first time in eight days

Community

A pair of Scott County siblings are back in the hands of their mother after she was released from an ICE detention facility following last week’s raids.

Following the largest single state ICE raid in the American history, a brother and sister were left without both their parents. They were arrested forcing the children to live with their aunt and uncle. But after eight long stressful days they were finally reunited with their mother. 

Coming out of the facility, Eduardo, 14, and his sister Juana, 12, fought back tears but held their heads high. 

“I went to go hug her and I was happy she was out,” Eduardo told us. 

With the help of a translator, Ana Andres-Sebastian told 12 News what it’s like to be free.

“She feels well, she feels very happy to be here next to her kids,” Andres-Sebastian expressed. “When she was inside she was crying not knowing when she was going to see them, but right now she feels happy she gets to be with them.”

Since Aug. 7th Ana sat in ICE custody. She was taken to the South Louisiana ICE Processing Center in the town of Basile.

“There’s a lot of sadness, there’s a lot of people in there that are crying for their children,” Andres-Sebastian stated. “There’s a lady there with a small child, she just talks to people in there who are really sad about the children they’re leaving behind and not knowing if they’ll have something to eat.”

Ana’s situation leaving her son and daughter with no parents for over a week due to her arrest contradicts what U.S Attorney Mike Hurst recently tweeted. The tweet stated Homeland Security ensured detainees with children were released one day later. And they were unaware of any without a parent. 

“While we are a nation of immigrants, more than that we are first and foremost a nation of laws,” Attorney Hurst said in a post-raid press conference.  

Born and raised in Guatemala, Ana eventually migrated to the United States. She’s been here the last 18 years and started a family. She told us what kept her from going back.

“Here there lots of things I can take them to eat,” Andres-Sebastian said. “And over there, there’s nothing for them. “I’m not going to be able to take care of my kids over there. So I want people to think about the differences in lifestyle between there and here.”

Many Mississippi churches and organizations are pitching in to help with legal advice. They’re also donating food and supplies to help these families make ends meet until they await their court dates.

As for Eduardo and Juana’s father, he’s still being held in a facility according to family attorneys. But now that mom’s out the kids plan to enjoy their first family meal at home in over a week. 

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