The mother and child, identified as "WR" and "AR," with a translator. (Bill Marcus/WBZ NewsRadio 1030)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- A mother and child separated for 45 days after arriving at the U.S. border were reunited Saturday, and spoke at a press conference at the Brazilian Worker Center in Boston Monday morning about their time apart.
The mother, identified only as W.R. because she fled an abusive husband in Brazil who threatened her with a knife and gun, spoke through a translator about how it felt to be reunited with her son, identified as A.R.
"I am so happy to have my son again with me," she said. "I am so grateful for everyone of this team that has been helping me. Without you, I wouldn't have my son back to me."
She called her experience "painful" and "complicated." The pair fled domestic violence at the hands of W.R.'s husband, who W.R. said was also trying to get their son involved in drug activity. W.R. said that when she arrived in the U.S., she was handcuffed, put in a cage, and treated like an animal.
In a release, W.R.'s lawyer, Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal, Executive Director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, said the federal government "created a maze of bureaucratic and legal hurdles" to keep the mother and child separated, at one point justifying the delay in their reunion by saying that the woman's son had not
"After being separated from her child, the government would not even tell the mother his whereabouts or immigration case number," the release read. "The government probed her religious beliefs and practices. She was fingerprinted--along with every other person in her home. An intrusive home visit was conducted to determine if she was fit to parent her own child."
They were reunited Saturday at Logan Airport, after lawyers for the Brazilian Center argued a motion in court Thursday. W.R. said she speaks for all the mothers who can't when she says that all she is looking for in the U.S. is safety and security.
"I wish the government change their mind and the way they treat people," W.R. said at the press conference. "Unfortunately, I wasn't looking for what I got when I came here, and I don't wish that happen to anybody else."
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Bill Marcus reports