3-Year-Old Girl, Separated From Father at Border, Sent to Aunt 2 Months Later - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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3-Year-Old Girl, Separated From Father at Border, Sent to Aunt 2 Months Later

The girl ended up in Pennsylvania with a nonprofit group. A social worker escorted her to Texas

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    3-Year-Old Honduran Girl Living With Aunt in Frisco After Border Separation

    A 3-year-old girl from Honduras was united with her aunt in Frisco on Monday after she became separated from her father crossing the border two months ago. (Published Monday, Aug. 19, 2019)

    A 3-year-old girl from Honduras was united with her aunt in Frisco, Texas, on Monday after she became separated from her father crossing the border two months ago.

    The girl somehow ended up in Reading, Pennsylvania, and was escorted to DFW Airport Monday afternoon by a social worker.

    Waiting for the flight to arrive in Terminal E, her aunt, Glenda Aleman, could hardly contain her emotions.

    "I've waited for this moment for a long time," Aleman said in Spanish.

    Clutching balloons that say "Princess," she waited for her young niece she had met before only on video chats and seen in photos.

    NBC DFW is not identifying the girl because of her age and because it's unclear what she's gone through during the separation.

    Aleman says the girl's father was targeted by criminal gangs in Honduras and wanted to escape the violence.

    The two crossed the border in June intending to apply for asylum.

    The father, Osman Dubon-Venegas, was arrested and remains in jail in New Mexico. According to court records, he faces a charge of re-entering the U.S. after he was deported in 2012. He also had been previously convicted of vandalism.

    The first two weeks after his arrest, the girl's family says they had no idea where she was.

    "It was a very difficult time not knowing about her,” Aleman said.

    Somehow the girl ended up in Pennsylvania with a nonprofit group, which arranged for a flight to DFW so she can stay with her aunt.

    A social worker escorted the child for the cross-country trip.

    As other passengers claimed their baggage, the girl hugged her aunt and cousin, who also is 3-years-old.

    It's a scene being repeated as children become separated from their parents crossing the border, only to be united weeks or months later with relatives already living in the U.S.

    The outcome of her father's court case is far from clear.

    And her mother? She's still back home in Honduras. She spoke with us via Facetime.

    "I feel more at peace because she's now with my sister," said Lucia Patricia Aleman Garay. "This process has been the most difficult in my life."

    She said she has no idea when she'll see her daughter -- or her husband -- again.

    Asked about the case, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement referred questions to another agency, Customs and Border Protection.

    A CBP spokeswoman in Houston said she would work on providing information on Tuesday.