“We’re working now with 45 fathers and mothers,” said Taylor Levy, a legal coordinator helping to reunite immigrant families.
She said her clients have been asked to send in birth certificates, take fingerprints, and pay for a DNA test. They also have to buy the plane ticket for their child and a roundtrip ticket for an escort if the reunions require travel.
“The system has a lot of good qualities in terms of protecting against trafficking, making sure that children are who they say they are, that the guardians with them or whoever is with them when they cross actually has a right to that child,” Levy said. “That’s very different from taking a minor child from their father or mother.”
Romero says when he finally gets his daughter back, he will not let her leave his side again. “I’m going to give her lots of kisses,” he says. “I’ll tell her that I love her and that everything’s going to be okay.”
Customs and Border Protection is trying to manage the surge of asylum seekers they’ve seen recently. Over the last two months they’ve had more than 5,200 people enter as families. Of those, there were just seven cases of family separation by CBP.