ARIZONA NEWS

Moms raise $169K to help migrant moms get released, reunited with kids

Jul 13, 2018, 4:51 AM

FILE - In this Friday, June 22, 2018, file photo, a mother, left, and son, from Guatemala, hold han...

FILE - In this Friday, June 22, 2018, file photo, a mother, left, and son, from Guatemala, hold hands during a news conference following their reunion in Linthicum, Md., after being reunited following their separation at the U.S. border. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

PHOENIX — An effort to reunite migrant mothers with their children after being separated at the United States-Mexico border is being led by a group of fellow moms.

The New York-based group Immigrant Families Together has helped six mothers get released from the Eloy Detention Center in Arizona since its formation less than a month ago. The group paid their bonds – which ranged from $7,500 to $25,000 – using donations.

Julie Schwietert-Collazo, founder of Immigrant Families Together, said the group has raised more than $169,000 for their efforts.

“That money goes not just to bonds, but to the long-term sustenance of these parents,” she said. “Once they’re bonded out, that’s really only the beginning of their journey.”

She said the money also goes toward supporting the migrant mothers as they go through their immigration proceedings and try to regain custody of their children.

Though based in New York, the group has a nationwide network of volunteers who help coordinate drivers to take the moms on a cross-country trip to reunite with their children.

Yeni Gonzalez Garcia was the first mother they helped release and reunite with her three children in New York.

Schwietert-Collazo referred to Gonzalez Garcia as “the hero of this story.” She explained that the Guatemalan mom “committed when she was in the Eloy Detention facility to recording and remembering the names and details of the other women that she was detained with.”

She then provided that information to the Immigrant Families Together and attorneys, who’ve been keeping track of the women to see when they’ll be issued a bond.

Schwietert-Collazo said they know of 18 mothers, most of them being kept inside the Eloy Detention Center, who are close to being issued a bond for their release.

She said they hope to continue raising money to help pay for the bonds of these and other moms. So far, they’ve received donations ranging from as little as $5 to as much as $7,500.

“The donations are coming from ordinary people who’ve said ‘I want to show up, and I want to do something to help,’” Schwietert-Collazo said.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Headshot of Jose Angel Vingochea Gomez, subject of a Silver Alert in Phoenix....

KTAR.com

Silver Alert issued for 78-year-old Phoenix man with cognitive condition

Authorities issued a Silver Alert on Tuesday afternoon for a Phoenix man with a cognitive condition who went missing earlier in the day.

1 hour ago

Google Street View image of Heritage Village, a Mesa assisted living facility that has been accused...

Kevin Stone

Court puts receiver in control of troubled Mesa assisted living facility

A third-party receiver was appointed to take control of Heritage Village, a Mesa assisted living facility accused of abuse and consumer fraud.

2 hours ago

Multiple suspects were indicted for their roles in allegedly ambushing an off-duty Phoenix police o...

KTAR.com

Suspects indicted in connection with shooting of off-duty Phoenix officer

Two suspects were indicted for their roles in allegedly ambushing an off-duty Phoenix police officer in March, authorities said Tuesday.

3 hours ago

File photo of a woman buying a The Pick lottery ticket from a machine. A ticket for The Pick sold i...

Kevin Stone

Arizona lottery player hits $11.9 million jackpot in The Pick drawing

An Arizona lottery player hit an $11.9 million jackpot in Monday’s The Pick drawing. The winning numbers were 2, 8, 28, 31, 32 and 41.

4 hours ago

Follow @KTAR923...

KTAR.com

Crust Simply Italian owners opening The Goose speakeasy lounge in Scottsdale

The lounge is located near Via de Ventura and Hayden Road, adjacent to Crust Simply Italian in the Scottsdale's McCormick Ranch neighborhood.

5 hours ago

Stock image of power lines. A power outage left thousands of residents in the city of Maricopa with...

KTAR.com

Thousands in city of Maricopa get electricity back after widespread power outage

The power has been restored in Maricopa after a widespread outage left much of the Arizona city without electricity Tuesday morning.

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Moms raise $169K to help migrant moms get released, reunited with kids