7 immigrant children reunited with their mothers in New York

Yeni Gonzalez Garcia, a Guatemalan mother who had been separated from her children, exits the Cayuga Center after being reunited with them in New York City, US, on Friday. (REUTERS)
Updated 14 July 2018
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7 immigrant children reunited with their mothers in New York

  • Gonzalez was driven cross-country by volunteers after she was released from Eloy Detention Center in Arizona
  • The children are 6-year-old Deyuin, 9-year-old Jamelin and 11-year-old Lester

NEW YORK: Seven immigrant children who’d been separated from their families left a New York City social services center Friday holding their mothers’ hands and carrying balloons, backpacks and stuffed animals.
A woman from Guatemala held her 5-year-old son in her arms, more than two months after they were separated. He and his 15-year-old brother have been staying with a New York foster family.
“I want to thank everyone who made this possible, because for me it seemed impossible at one point,” said Rosayra Pablo-Cruz, speaking in Spanish. “When it’s in God’s plans, everything is possible.”
They left the Cayuga Center in East Harlem, which has a federal contract to place unaccompanied immigrant children in short-term foster care.
Yeni Gonzalez, another Guatemalan mother, was given custody of her three sons, ages 6, 9 and 11.
“I feel very happy,” she said.
She thanked elected officials, her attorney, and volunteers who paid her bond through crowdfunding and drove her from the Eloy Detention Center in Arizona to New York.
She had a message for mothers still in detention near the Mexican border: “Fight because with the help of all these people you will succeed, and the help of God.”
Julie Schwietert Collazo was one of the people. She organized the caravan that brought Gonzalez to New York after her volunteer group paid $7,500 bond so Gonzalez could be released from detention. They raised a total of nearly $200,000 and so far have bonded six women out of the Arizona facility, with three more expected to be released.
Asked whether she had anything to say to Republican President Donald Trump, Gonzalez shook her head, no.
On Friday, a Honduran mother also left Cayuga quietly with her two children — one carrying a big stuffed bear and smiling.


Drifter charged in stabbing death of champ golfer in Iowa

Updated 1 min 30 sec ago
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Drifter charged in stabbing death of champ golfer in Iowa

AMES, Iowa: A homeless man attacked and killed a top amateur golfer from Spain who was playing a round near her university campus in central Iowa, leaving her body in a pond on the course, police said Tuesday.
Collin Daniel Richards, 22, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Celia Barquin Arozamena, a student at Iowa State University.
Barquin was found Monday morning in a pond at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Des Moines. Police were called to the golf course around 10:20 a.m. to investigate a possible missing female after golfers found a golf bag with no one around it.
Officers found Barquin’s body some distance from the bag, with several stab wounds to her upper torso, head and neck, according to the criminal complaint filed Tuesday against Richards.
A police dog tracked Barquin’s scent to a temporary camp along a creek near the golf course, where Richards had been living in a tent, the complaint said. Officers found Richards with several fresh scratches on his face consistent with fighting, and a deep laceration in his left hand that he tried to conceal, it said.
An acquaintance of Richards told investigators that the suspect had said in recent days that he had “an urge to rape and kill a woman” while they were walking on a trail near the course, the complaint said. A second acquaintance told police that Richards arrived at his home on Monday appearing “disheveled and covered in blood, sand and water.” He bathed and left with his clothes in a backpack.
Investigators later recovered two pairs of shorts with blood stains and a knife that Richards allegedly gave to two other people after the slaying, the complaint said. Those two individuals were driving Richards out of town after the slaying, but he asked them to drop him off near the camp so he could get his tent and that’s when officers arrested him, it said.
Barquin was the 2018 Big 12 champion and Iowa State Female Athlete of the Year. The university said the native of Puente San Miguel, Spain, was finishing her civil engineering degree this semester after exhausting her eligibility at Iowa State in 2017-2018.
She was one of the most accomplished players in Cyclone golf history, the university said. In April, she became the second women’s golfer at Iowa State to earn medalist honors at a conference tournament when claiming the 2018 Big 12 Championship. She did it with a three-shot victory.
Barquin, who was ranked No. 69 nationally by Golfweek, ended her career as a Cyclone with a fourth-straight NCAA Regional appearance and earned All-Big 12 Team honors for the third time — the second player in Iowa State’s history to do so.
She became the third Cyclone women’s golfer to compete in the US Women’s Open Championship, the university said. The team announced Tuesday it was pulling out of the East & West Match Play in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to be with friends and family and to grieve their loss.
Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen said in a statement on Twitter that she was “deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death” of Barquin, describing her as a “dedicated civil engineering student” and an “acclaimed golfer with a bright future.”
Head women’s golf coach Christie Martens said in a release that Barquin was “loved by all her teammates and friends” and was an “outstanding representative of our school.”
“We will never forget her competitive drive to be the best and her passion for life,” Martens said.