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The [Wednesday] Papers

"A Brazilian mother separated from her 9-year-old son at the Mexican border late last month while seeking asylum arrived in Chicago Tuesday morning, hoping they could be reunited," the Sun-Times reports.

"But one final hurdle remains before Lidia K. Souza can regain custody of her son, Diogo, from the Chicago-based non-profit organization that's looking after him. The Office of Refugee Resettlement must sign off on his release.

"Despite a willingness to help, they just haven't signed the document," immigration attorney Jesse Bless said Tuesday morning outside the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in the Loop, standing beside his tearful client.

"The process has been mired in bureaucratic red tape and immigration policies that seem to be shifting by the hour under the administration of Donald J. Trump, Bless said.

"To force a quick resolution, Bless filed a complaint in federal court Tuesday morning seeking the boys release."


Via WGN:


"Ms. Souza, 27, and her son turned themselves in to the Border Patrol on May 29, declaring that they had a fear of returning to their home country and wished to obtain asylum in the United States," the New York Times reports.

"The following day, an agent used Google Translate, she said, to explain to her - as Diogo erupted in tears - that because she had not presented herself at an official port of entry, she had entered the United States illegally; therefore she would go to jail, and he would go to a shelter. The son saw his mother being handcuffed."


"Ms. Souza, an evangelical Christian, said she sought strength in prayer.

"She also searched on Facebook for a Brazilian woman she had met in detention whose child had also been removed from her. The woman, who is now in Pennsylvania, told Ms. Souza that her daughter had been at a shelter in Chicago called Casa Guadalupe and had befriended a Brazilian boy there named Diogo. She gave Ms. Souza the number."


"Federal records obtained by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting show the locations of 86 child care facilities across the nation that have housed and supervised children as part of the unaccompanied immigrant minors program."

Casa Guadalupe is one of six Chicago shelters on the list; there are also two Des Plaines shelters.


Back to the Times:

"To get her son back, Ms. Souza learned, she would have to provide the shelter, which is run by Heartland Alliance, with a mountain of documents.

"Assisted by a lawyer, Ms. Souza filled out a 36-page packet and submitted documents attesting to her relationship to Diogo. But 'every day, they wanted something else,' Ms. Souza in an interview on Saturday.

"For example, the adults in the family with whom she lives in Hyannis also had to submit five pages of personal information for a background check . . .

"The last straw, she said, was the fingerprint request last week. A case worker notified Ms. Souza that she and two other adults in the household would have to visit a designated location in their area to be fingerprinted - on July 6. Her request to get back her son would then take 22 days to be approved, she was told.

"They said she can only get the child in August," said Jesse Bless, her lawyer. "That is completely unacceptable. What kind of process for reunification is this?"

Really, Heartland?


"[Souza's lawyers] expressed outrage to shelter managers, telling them that Ms. Souza had already been fingerprinted at the border. In response, a Health and Human Services official e-mailed Mr. Bless, saying: 'Policy and Procedures recently changed and requires all household members and sponsor's to fingerprint. I can assure you that while at Heartland, Diogo is not isolated. Case Managers at Heartland truly care about our children and are working diligently to ensure all of our minors are safely released.'"


Back to the Sun-Times:

"The complaint Bless filed Tuesday comes days after two other lawsuits were filed in federal court seeking to re-unite two other Brazilian boys being held in Chicago - ages 9 and 15 - with their parents.

"Their families also fled dangerous situations in Brazil and were seeking asylum in the United States, according to the suits.

"There are a lot of Brazilian children in Chicago," Bless said. "They are grouping these children by nationality."


Background: Start with The [Monday] Papers and work your way backward via the links provided. I can't do all the work for you, people!


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Posted on June 27, 2018

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