‘We Can Begin To Heal the Wounds.’ Inside the Efforts to Provide Mental Health Care to Families Separated at the U.S. Border

When Mari and her teenage son, Jesus, were confronted by Border Patrol agents, they did not know they had already crossed the border from Mexico to the U.S. and were now on American soil. To this day, Mari—an asylum seeker from Guatemala—says she doesn’t know where they entered the U.S., only that the agents arrested them and drove them to a facility where dozens of other women were crying. It wasn’t until the agents took Jesus away from her that Mari understood why they were crying.

“Do you know that you are committing a crime?” Mari says an agent who worked at the facility asked her. “‘No,’ I told him, ‘I’m running away.’”

Serving Separated and Reunited Families: Lessons Learned and the Way Forward to Promote Family Unity

A report by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Migration and Refugee Services and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

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