Mother waited for 'miracle' after being separated from sons in 2017

A mother is recalling the moment she was reunited with her sons in Philadelphia for the first time since they were split up at the border in 2017.

Video Transcript

- An emotional scene it was last night in Philadelphia, with a mother being reunited with a son she hadn't seen in three years. Action News reporter George Solis talked to mom, Mabel Gonzalez, today about her ordeal and her moment of joy.

GEORGE SOLIS: Tuesday evening in Philadelphia Mabel Gonzalez was showered in the hugs and tears of her two sons she last saw more than three years ago when they were split up at the US border. Gonzalez sought asylum in the US having fled violence and threats in her native Honduras, with her two boys who were 13 and 15 at the time. Under the 2017 Trump administration zero tolerance policy, the family was among the first to be split up. The children were placed in a detention center before ultimately ending up with family in Philadelphia.

Gonzalez spent two years in an ICE Detention Center in El Paso, Texas before being deported back to Honduras. She immediately fled to Mexico, where she felt safer despite knowing almost no one. Until she was recently notified that reunification could be possible under the Biden administration. What did you tell them the first moment that you saw them, I asked. That I love my children and that I love them, she said. Today we spoke with Gonzales at length about the road to the emotional reunion. I counted and counted the days to see which of those days I would see a miracle in our life she told me. Enter non-profit Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center.

- When the border was sealed and closed we really lost hope at that time.

GEORGE SOLIS: Attorney Linda Corchado ran into numerous obstacles while working the case, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Another issue, parole. With her children already in the care of family, her case as well as many others under the Trump administration, was denied.

- They were separated for much longer than they should have ever done.

GEORGE SOLIS: A woman of faith, Gonzalez isn't looking back. I leave it up to divine justice, all that they did to me, she said. And letting that love for her children say more than words ever could. Gonzalez will be able to legally live and work in the US for the next three years. But her attorney says she won't be satisfied until she becomes a US citizen. In Fairmount Park, George Solis, Channel6, Action News.