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Remembering reuniting Ariel with his family

In 2019, after the then-administration tore thousands of children away from their parents, it then deported hundreds of parents without their children.

Through our boots-on-the-ground warrior partners, Together Rising learned of 90 of these deported parents who had been deemed impossible to find. They had no cell phones, lived in rural villages and many only spoke rare indigenous languages. The administration had failed to keep records. Finding these parents — much less reuniting them with their babies — was impossible.

But you — the people of the impossible — funded the warriors at Al Otro Lado and Justice in Motion with $1,090,000 to set up a network of advocates to trek through the mountains to find these parents.


One of those parents was J Jesus, who had come to the US with his precious 6-year old son, Ariel, to seek asylum due to gang violence. Even though he begged for Ariel to be deported with him, officials tore Ariel from his arms before he was deported.

Ariel’s dad, mom, and sister were losing hope that they’d ever see him again. Ariel hadn’t seen his family for 10 months.

Until one Friday — two years ago, almost exactly, from today.

On that Friday, three Board members of Together Rising brought Ariel to the airport to await a plane bringing his mother, father, and sister back into his arms. Right before his family landed, he looked up at Amanda and said, in Spanish, “I don’t remember what they are like.” She showed him a picture of his family, and he beamed with joy, recognition, and relief.
Just minutes later, he sprinted into his family’s arms.

Over the last two years, Together Rising has been unwavering in our tireless resolve to stand with and invest in these families.

We will not rest until every Ariel is back in their parents’ arms. Each and every one.

To date we have invested $9,397,703.37 to find, reunify, and advocate for these families and unaccompanied detained children. Our commitment is just as strong and steadfast today as it was on that Friday we reunited Ariel with his family. If you would like to be part of this reunification work, please join us at (link in bio)