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.
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, is still the Secretary of Homeland Security. She made family separation official U.S. policy in April. In fact nobody has been fired for enacting or carrying out this policy, only protesting it.
— Resistbot (@resistbot) October 10, 2018
This Administration is amoral. I hope all involved in the separation & incarceration of these children will be brought to trial for their crimes against innocent asylum seeking babies & children. POTUS, Stephen Miller, Kirstjen Nielsen, John Kelly, Jeff Sessions, Alex Azar, etc.
— KayJay (@KathleenJaege13) October 14, 2018
Kirstjen Nielsen lied about the child separation policy and kids are still locked in cages. But both sides.
— Matt Murphy (@MattMurph24) October 8, 2018
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.