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READ: Department of Homeland Security Notice of Custody Evaluation ‘Signed’ by Helen, a 5 Year-old Migrant From Honduras

donald trump family separation, 5 year old contract border

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 04: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump (L) speaks as Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (R) listens during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House January 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. President Trump met with Republican members of the Senate to discuss immigration. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

In a court hearing that granted Noehmi more time to apply for asylum in the United States, she and other relatives asked for more information as to Helen’s whereabouts.

“Judge, this case doesn’t stop here,” Delgado said. “What about the little child lost in the system?”

The judge looked confused. “What do you mean?” he asked.

“Well, where is Helen, the five-year-old?”

The judge, Delgado recalled, seemed startled. Both he and the government prosecutor had no idea that Helen existed, let alone where she was being held.

Noehmi’s attorney, Eugene Delgado, frantically searched for Helen–invoking the help of numerous caseworkers and other officials. After finally learning of her placement, Noehmi was allowed short weekly phone calls with the child and, eventually, visits while the child was in foster care. They would not be reunited permanently for months.

The case appears to confirm what has concerned many: that the family separation policy is still very much alive and only more covert. In addition to blaming President Donald Trump, many believe responsibility for the inhumane actions also rests on U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen.

Helen has since been reunited with her family, but only after a petition on her behalf garnered thousands of signatures. Her grandmother has surmised that the child, who has reportedly exhibited strange behavior since, believes she was abandoned by her family.

The White House is reportedly looking into a new version of the policy. More than 200 children remain separated from their guardians.

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  • Evan Brechtel

    Evan is a writer and editor based in New York. In addition to his work with Second Nexus, he freelan... keep reading