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Reunited immigrant families grapple with how to repair damage caused by separation

Jose, a 27-year-old Honduran asylum seeker, was reunited with his 3-year-old son on Tuesday after spending nearly two months apart. Now comes the hard part.

by David Noriega and Taylor Dolven
Jul 12 2018, 12:41am

Jose, a 27-year-old Honduran asylum seeker, was reunited with his 3-year-old son on Tuesday after spending nearly two months apart. But even though their initial nightmare is over, Jose worries about the long-term effects.

“His mind is confused, because of the solitude he lived through, without the love of his father or his mother,” Jose said. “He was forgotten. He must have thought that I abandoned him."

Jose was one of a handful of parents reunited with their children on Tuesday at the Eloy Detention Center in Southern Arizona. In one sense, he’s luckier than many of the other parents in his position. While he was in detention, Jose passed a credible fear screening, the first part of his asylum application, which means he could spend several months waiting for the case to wind through the immigration courts. During that time, he can remain outside detention with his son.

One of the first things he plans to do is take him to a psychiatrist.

“Sometimes kids get sick from so much desperation,” Jose said.

This segment originally aired July 11, 2018 on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

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immigration
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asylum seeker
family separation