Mother separated from child in immigrant detention released

Originally published by The Washington Post

A Congolese woman at the center of a lawsuit accusing the U.S. government of unlawfully separating her from her 7-year-old daughter after they crossed the California-Mexico border seeking asylum was released Tuesday, an official with the American Civil Liberties Union said.

The woman was released from a detention center in San Diego under orders coming “from up top” in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project. The child, however, remains about 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) away from her mother in a Chicago facility, he said.

Efforts on Wednesday will shift toward obtaining the girl’s release and reuniting her with her mother, Gelernt said. The ACLU also will continue to litigate the lawsuit filed Feb. 26 in federal court in San Diego seeking relief for other immigrant parents separated from their minor children, he said.

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