CBP: Asylum-Seeker Won't Be Separated From Newborn
A teenage asylum-seeker from Honduras will not be separated from her U.S.-born baby and returned to Mexico, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said Monday.
The 19-year-old woman gave birth Friday at Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista, while in Border Patrol custody. The pregnant woman was taken into custody Dec. 11 after she illegally crossed into the U.S. near the San Ysidro Port of Entry, according to a CBP spokesperson.
Her lawyers told KPBS that Border Patrol agents would not let her see the baby or make a phone call after the birth. They said agents told the woman she would be returned to Border Patrol barracks, while the baby remained in the hospital.
That set off fears that the woman could be separated from her newborn and returned under the “Remain In Mexico” program.
On Sunday, a Border Patrol supervisor told the woman’s lawyers she and her newborn would not be separated. But fears were raised anew when agents showed up Monday morning with a baby carrier.
Late Monday afternoon, CPB released a statement saying "the woman was provided a Notice to Appear and released from CBP custody under her own recognizance.”
The woman will begin her asylum claim from inside the United States, her lawyers said.