"My love, I'm your mommy," a Honduran mother pleads with her squirming 3-year-old son as they are reunited after three and a half months of separation by the Trump administration's discontinued policy of splitting up migrant families.
The moment of reunion is shown in a gutting video released by the ACLU. The boy refuses eye contact, crawling away from his crying mom. "What's wrong with my son?" she asks her husband. "My son is traumatized."
As the ACLU report accompanying the video explains, the Reyes-Mejia family (a pseudonymous name for the sake of safety) came to the U.S. from Honduras to escape spiking violent crime. They did not enter the country illegally but presented themselves at a border crossing facility to seek asylum.
The father, Ever, was told he could briefly leave his son alone at a detention facility while he completed some paperwork. When he returned, the boy was gone. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents had shipped him to foster care in Michigan.
Because the boy is just 3 years old, the Reyes-Mejia family was given priority for reunification when the family separation policy was shut down. His response at reunification with his mother is emblematic of the "traumatic psychological injury" mental health experts warned the separations would produce, especially for young children.