CHICAGO (CBS) — The grueling wait comes to an end for a Brazilian mother whose child was separated from her by immigration officials at the U.S.-Mexico border.
A Chicago judge ordered the Office of Refugee Resettlement to release the nine-year-old back to his mother.READ MORE: Some Illinois Schools Gave More Failing Grades After COVID Began
CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez has the story.
This was a huge relief for this mother who first had to track her son down, then travel to Chicago. Twice.
She got rejected when she tried to pick him up. The mother had two short visits, two court dates and on Thursday got her wish.
The two were finally reunited late Thursday afternoon.
Twenty-seven-year old Lidia Karine Souza and her nine-year-old son Diogo appeared at her attorneys’ office smiling and hugging.
In fact, she never let go of the young boy.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Full Sun Thursday
Souza was in court Thursday morning as her attorneys argued that mother and child should be together. The government argued the child was an unaccompanied minor.
Her legal team, in the end, won out and said they were thrilled with the judge’s decision.
“After almost a month, this family has finally been reunited,” said attorney Britt Miller. “We are ecstatic with the court’s decision. We think the judge gave it a lot of thought.”
“When I got there, he already knew that I was taking him home,” said Souza. “When I asked him who told him he said ‘I woke up this morning and I had a feeling,'” she said.
U.S. District Judge Manish S. Shah of the Northern District of Illinois ruled “that continuing that continuing to hold the boy apart from his mother likely violates the law and at a minimum, likely interferes with familial integrity without sufficient procedural justification…continued separation of a nine-year-old child and Souza irreparably harms them both.”
Diogo said he suffered a bout with the chicken pox but is happy to be with his mother to celebrate his birthday which he spent being held at the facility.MORE NEWS: Chicago Board Of Ethics Finds Probable Cause Ald. James Gardiner Violated Ethics Ordinance Twice
He said when he grows up he wants to be a police officer so he can help protect people.