There was an emotional family reunion Sunday night as a migrant woman and her children arrived in North Texas.
They are part of a caravan of migrants who arrived at the U.S./Mexico border in April, seeking asylum from violence in their native Honduras.
The mother and her two young children were among the late night arrivals at the Dallas Greyhound bus station.
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“Gracias a Dios [Thank God],” said Irma Rivera.
The undocumented immigrant says she and her kids, 5 and 6-years-old, fled their home in Honduras in February.
The trio then learned of a caravan of mostly Central Americans making its way through Mexico, bound for the U.S. and joined the movement.
The caravan wound its way through Mexico, arriving at the Tijuana – San Diego border in April.
Some migrants have been processed by immigration officials and have been allowed in the U.S. for now.
“There were nights where we slept outside on the ground,” she said in Spanish.
She said the scariest part of her odyssey was riding on the infamous freight train known as ‘The Beast.’
Rivera says she and her children spent four days together in a detention center in Tijuana, Mexico before being released in the U.S. on a temporary basis, as her plea for asylum is heard.
Asked why risk her life and her children’s lives crossing illegally into the U.S., Rivera responded “Por la violencia que hay en Honduras [because of the violence in Honduras.”
Rivera says she only opted to flee after her husband was murdered by unknown assailants and for an unknown reason.
Rivera was seated speaking with Telemundo 39 when she looked at a man approaching her and quickly realized it was her brother, Marco.
She let out a scream and the two siblings hugged for several seconds, her children and other passengers looking on.
“Let me see you,” she finally told him.
The two had not seen each other in 14 years.
Marco Rivera has lived in North Texas for more than a decade.
The reunion proved to be too overwhelming for Rivera’s little girl who began to weep.
Before leaving, Rivera said she had new found hope.
“[I plan to] work, give my children a better life and start fresh,” she said in Spanish.
Rivera is not familiar with her current legal status, but intends to find an attorney in order to make her case to an immigration judge that she fears for her life, should she be returned to Honduras.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has called the caravan that made it to the California–Mexico border in April “a deliberate attempt to undermine our laws and overwhelm our system.”
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has said the migrants should have settled in Mexico.