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Immigrant mother and son reunited in Texas after months apart

After months apart, mother and son reunited
Credit: Courtney Sacco/Caller-Times
Liliana Martinez walks out of the Lutheran Social Services transitional foster care office in Corpus Christi with her 5-year-old son Wanner after being reunited on Sunday, July 15, 2018. Feeling Guatemala Lilian Martinez was separated from her son in May after entering the U.S illegally

After being released from an immigration detention facility in Arizona, Liliana Martinez traveled to Houston and then Corpus Christi in search of her 5-year-old son. 

The 24-year-old Guatemalan mother was released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody Wednesday. Her son, Wanner, is among the estimated 3,000 children who have been separated from the adults they entered the country with, as a result of what’s known as the Trump Administration's “zero tolerance” policy. 

More: Feds say 34 immigrant children to be reunited with parents; no timetable for others

Martinez and her son have been apart since May, but they were reunited in Corpus Christi after some back and forth with shelter operators.

“I don’t have a way to pay you back, but God will compensate you for your help," Martinez said to immigration advocates that have provided her with transportation and shelter since her release. 

More: Immigrant mother separated from kids gets free lawyer from state of New York

Martinez's Houston-based attorney, Mana Yegani, expressed frustration about the information they’ve been provided about the child’s whereabouts.

She's been “going from facility to facility begging to see her child,” Yegani said. 

On Sunday, alongside a Corpus Christi-based attorney and a group of immigration activists, Martinez demanded to see Wanner at the Bokenkamp Children's Center for unaccompanied minors. 

More: Reunited: 3 immigrant sons meet parents after 2-month separation

After being allowed inside Bokenkamp, Martinez later learned Wanner was not at the shelter, but actually with a foster family. She and her son were later reunited after a series of phone calls.

Follow Beatriz Alvarado on Twitter: @CallerBetty

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