A Texas Family Is Sponsoring An Indigenous Boy From Guatemala After He Was Separated From His Father
The U.S. government has been very vocal about their reports that thousands of undocumented children are crossing the border. There are so many children, in fact, that the government is setting up new tent cities to accommodate them all. They also claim that the majority are entering unaccompanied or being ushered in by human traffickers. So, you would think that the government would help facilitate a proper home for these children, especially when a sweet family is extending their hand to an undocumented child.
At least one family in Texas experienced significant pushback from the government when they were initially denied sponsorship of an 8-year-old boy.
Holly and Matthew Sewell, and their family sought to act as a sponsor for Byron Xol after they heard that the child was separated from his father when the two crossed the border to seek asylum. Xol’s father was denied asylum and was forced to return to Guatemala. Without any family or contacts in the U.S., the child wouldn’t be able to leave the detention center.
The government has a policy in which immediate family members can only sponsor undocumented children, and that has come under scrutiny.
Last year, media reports indicated that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was targeting sponsors of undocumented children and detaining the sponsors for being undocumented themselves.
This received significant backlash because government agencies need sponsors to help shelter these children, but because ICE is using it as a means to detain, fewer people are coming forward to sponsor these children. With fewer people sponsoring, more children remain in the overcrowded shelters. That is what makes the Sewell family so remarkable.
Since the Sewell’s are not related to the child, they were denied, but they continued to fight for him and were also in contact with his dad. In the end they were victorious.
The Sewell’s, who have two small children already, contacted the child’s dad via Skype and remained in contact with him about their case. In an interview with NBC News, they said the boy, who speaks the indigenous language of K’iche has been learning Spanish, as the family is too in order to communicate with him better. They are beyond thrilled that he will be coming home with them.
“We are privileged enough. We can do this,” Holly said to NBC News and added that she learned “[if] you see somebody who needs help, you help them. If you have that capability, use that capability to help them.”