The Latest: Man reunited with son says he threatened suicide
Jul. 11, 2018
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Latest on reunifications of immigrant families who were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border (all times local):
A Honduran man recently reunited with his 4-year-old son says he had to threaten to kill himself so authorities would let him speak to the boy.
The man spoke Wednesday at Annunciation House, an El Paso, Texas-based shelter, along with another father recently reunited with his child. They arrived there Tuesday.
The Honduran was identified only by his first name, Roger. He said he felt lasting psychological damage from the time he spent apart from his son, who sat on his lap.
Roger held up his wrist and told reporters that after they were separated, he threatened to use a razor on himself if he couldn't speak to his son.
He says, "I told them I wasn't joking."
Shelter director Ruben Garcia says the men will go to different parts of the U.S. and must check in with immigration authorities.
Some immigrant toddlers are back in the arms of their parents, but others remain in detention facilities as federal officials fell short of meeting a court-ordered deadline to reunite dozens of youngsters forcibly separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border.
A federal judge in San Diego set a 14-day deadline to reunite children under 5 with their parents.
In trying to meet the first deadline, the government began with a list of 102 children potentially eligible to be reunited and whittled that to 75 through screening that included DNA testing.
Government attorneys said it needed more time to track down parents of the remaining children.
The administration faces a July 26 deadline to reunite perhaps 2,000 or so older children.