A case in federal court in Chicago Wednesday has put a face on a bigger issue that’s captivated the nation.
A judge on Tuesday ordered two migrant boys being held in Chicago to be reunited with their Brazilian fathers by Thursday afternoon.
The boys, identified in court papers only as W.S.R. and C.D.A., are 16 and 9 years old, respectively. They’re unrelated, but have similar stories.
They were both separated from their fathers after crossing the border to seek asylum nearly two months ago.
According to a person familiar with the case, W.S.R. is being transferred to El Paso to be reunited with his father at an ICE Detention Center.
It is believed that the boy will be released with his father, and that the father will be on supervised release with an ankle monitor.
As for C.D.A., his father is being transferred to Chicago, where he is expected to be reunited with his son before being transferred together to the Berks facility in Pennsylvania.
Their fathers were held in a detention center in New Mexico to face charges for crossing illegally, while the boys were taken to a Heartland Alliance shelter.
A psych report revealed that both boys are suffering from depression and have started harming themselves and others.
In his order to reunite the boys with their fathers, U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang called the separation "arbitrary and conscience shocking," according to the Chicago Tribune.
This is playing out amidst the widespread challenge of reuniting a total of 3,000 minors with parents they were separated from after crossing the border.
Tuesday was the deadline to reunite all kids under the age of 5 with their families, but the federal government said in a court filing Tuesday that just four of the 102 young children had been reunited with their parents.
A federal judge allowed an extension, and a status update on the latest reunification numbers was expected Thursday.
In the cases of the two boys in Chicago, both of the fathers pleaded guilty and were sentenced to time served, so it remained unclear as to why they weren't released and reunited with their children.