ROTTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – It’s been a long three months for Genesis, her husband Richard and their three children after they traveled thousands of miles for a better life in the U.S. They were all detained along the U.S. – Mexico border.
“As soon as they crossed the border in Texas the family was separated,” said Bill Sherman, a community organizer with Allies for Justice Schenectady County. “Richard was detained, and he had been there for three months.”
That was until Thursday, just after midnight. Sherman helped reunite the family after a harrowing journey from Venezuela.
After they were detained at the border Genesis and her children were released the next day while Richard remained in custody, bouncing around Texas.
Sherman met Genesis soon after she arrived in Rotterdam and felt compelled to help. He secured Richard’s plane ticket and drove Genesis and her 2-year-old daughter to the Newark Liberty International Airport. They waited anxiously for Richard.
Sherman said they were distraught when they feared Richard might have missed his flight when the plane emptied, and he was nowhere in sight.
“He must’ve been one of the last people to come through,” said Sherman. “And it was amazing.”
The mother and daughter hugged Richard for the first time in months and cried. He said the family embraced and held each other close all the way back to the car.
“It was the best feeling ever. It was the best experience. Since the asylum seekers arrived in Rotterdam, there’s been a lot of heartbreak,” said Sherman.
The Biden administration recently waived 26 federal laws, that protect Native American graves and the environment, to speed up the construction of the border wall in Texas. Sherman fears it will result in more family separations.
“It seems like this is the kind of plan that the Texas state government has, is to separate the parents and separate the families intentionally,” said Sherman.
He wants people to rally together and hold government officials accountable to resolve the immigration issues on a federal level.
“We are not going to stop. We’re going to continue to help people get their families back together. From our perspective it’s not a political issue. These families are here, they are humans, they are moms and dads,” said Sherman.