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John Washington, Anna-Catherine Brigida, The Texas Observer, Nov. 21, 2022
"The persecution for her work as a lawyer in Colombia had gotten so bad that Victoria and her husband, Anton, decided they needed to start lying to their son. They couldn’t stay in Colombia any longer, but they also recognized the dangers of fleeing—especially with their son, Felipe, who was 10 at the time. So they told Felipe the family was taking a vacation to Mexico. Maybe they would even get to go to the United States, they said. It was all a ruse to keep their son calm, to protect them from people who might target them as they traveled through Mexico. Once they hit U.S. soil in late May, the family found Border Patrol agents and gave themselves up to ask for asylum, after which they were placed in detention to await processing. ... One or two days later, on or about May 29—the exact date is unclear—Victoria and Felipe were taken to another room from which they could see, but not speak to, Anton. After some paperwork and an interview, an officer told Victoria that they were taking Felipe to have a snack. “They opened the door, took him away, and then closed the door,” Victoria said. She had heard about family separations, but didn’t think the U.S. government was still taking kids away from their parents. Victoria sensed something was amiss and began asking officials where her son was. “I don’t know,” immigration officials told her repeatedly. Almost six months later, she hasn’t seen him. ... Unless his parents are unexpectedly released, he will have to wait until late January, at the earliest, when Victoria and Anton have their court hearing, before he’s let out of his own prison."