"My days were just thinking, what was going to happen? What am I doing here?" 13-year-old Alejandro told CNN of the two months he was separated from his mother by U.S. immigration officials per the Trump administration's rescinded family separation policy. "I was so worried that the frustration wouldn't let me sleep ... I felt like it was a nightmare that would never end."
Alejandro and his mother, Dalia, journeyed to the U.S. from Guatemala. They entered the U.S. illegally, seeking safety from domestic abuse by Alejandro's estranged father, whom Dalia says was too well-connected in her country for police protection to mean much. The plan was to seek asylum in America, but before Dalia could make her case, mother and son were separated, she sent to a prison and he to a shelter.
The agents "wouldn't allow any physical contact," at the moment of separation, Alejandro said. "I only told her through the window that I loved her very much and that everything would be okay. All I could say was 'goodbye,' and they took me."
The teen reports he was treated well but was only able to speak to his mom on the phone three times in two months: "It hurt me so much because [she] was the only thing I had. I was completely alone." After two months they were reunited and released, Dalia fitted with an ankle monitor to keep track of her until her asylum application can be adjudicated.