CHICAGO (CBS) — A group of mothers who connected on social media created a volunteer caravan and raised more than $25,000 to reunite a Guatemalan mother with her teen daughter, who is in New York.
They call themselves #TeamJuana.
“I told her it breaks our heart too, from one mother to another,” said Patricia Gainsberg of Northfield. “We feel her pain. We feel her pain.”
Juana and her daughter were separated in early June. Until recently, Juana had been in a detention center in Arizona.
“She said that it was really hopeless, the feeling they had because they were all alone, and all they could do was just pray with each other,” said Gainsberg.
The separation came as part of the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy.
“When people come in illegally, they have to go out,” said President Donald Trump while hosting the King of Jordan at the White House.
Under the policy, more than 2,000 children were separated from their parents.
In two days, more than 345 people contributed to a GoFundMe set up for Juana’s expenses. At the time of this publication, the campaign had reached over $25,000.
“They weren’t even allowed to hug each other; it’s prohibited for them to group together,” Gainsberg said, referring to Juana’s time in detention. “So they would just stand around and cry and pray to God that they could get some sort of sign that something would happen.”
“One day they saw that people were protesting while they were transporting them, and it gave them hope because they didn’t think that anybody cared and that they were all alone.”
After Gainsberg drives Juana to Michigan, another mom will take her to Pennsylvania. The last leg of her trip will be to New York, where she will be reunited with her daughter.