NEW YORK, N.Y. – Senator Michael Gianaris proudly joined Yeni Gonzalez, her children, and advocates from Queens-based Immigrant Families Together as they left the Cayuga Centers as a family once again. Gonzalez, a Guatemalan asylum-seeker, was detained at the border and separated from her children who were sent to foster care in New York.
“One family is back together but thousands more remain separated,” said Senator Michael Gianaris. “Today's success was due to compassionate New Yorkers who showed we are better than our federal government’s policies. New Yorkers showed we stand together in the fight to keep families together.”
Gonzalez was regularly visiting her children (6 year-old Deyuin, 9 year-old Jamelin, and 11 year-old Lester) at the Cayuga Centers while they were in foster care. Gonzalez herself is staying with a host family in Senator Gianaris’ Queens district.
Senator Gianaris became the first person to welcome Yeni Gonzalez to New York when she arrived in Queens on her journey to be reunited with her children. The family was separated in May when she was detained at the border. After fundraising to pay her bond so she could be released, volunteers from Immigrant Families Together drove Gonzalez across the country from Arizona to New York.
Immigrant Families Together continues to raise funds so more immigrant mothers can be reunited with their children. The group has raised enough for seven mothers to be released. Information about the organization can be found on Senator Gianaris’s website, www.gianaris.nysenate.gov.