The drama of the separation of immigrant families in the United States has already had fatal consequences. The most recent victim is Leydy Paola Martínez, a Colombian mother of two minors, who had been separated from her husband at the border and took her own life in a shelter in Queens, New York.
The news was confirmed on Wednesday by the mayor of New York, Eric Adams, who reported the fact on his Twitter account.
“The thousands of asylum seekers that we have seen arrive in our city came to this country in search of a better life. Unfortunately, yesterday an asylum seeker in one of our facilities he took his own life,” Adams said on his Twitter account, reaffirming the American dream that mobilizes millions of people to the country in the north of the continent.
And he added: “Our hearts are in mourning for this person and for the loved ones he may have, and we, as a city, regret this death”, indicating the sad news that the woman’s children received, as well as recalling the lack in policies that manage to resolve massive and irregular migration to the United States.
In the midst of the commotion over this fact, John Bernal, Leydy’s husband, spoke, who assured that he spoke with her and felt “desperate” because he had not been able to reach the United States, despite having tried three times.
“I was desperate because I had not been able to get there. I tried three times, and I couldn’t go. They never wanted to listen to me. I wanted to be by her side,” said Bernal, in a dialogue with journalist Adriana Vargas, from Univisión.
He described the viacrucis that he had to live since he and his family were separated at the border. He assured that he was detained for eight days after which he had to return to Colombia.
“When we left, the four of us were separated, immigration separated us. I never heard from her again,” Bernal said.
Now he is asking the Colombian and United States authorities for help so that he can have his children back in Colombia and be able to repatriate his wife’s body.
“I really don’t want to leave her there either and I want to please bring my children as soon as possible, which is what I want most and what they need most at this time,” Bernal told Univision.
In the midst of the commotion that this event has generated, Mayor Adams sent a message to those people who are in refugee centers, affirming that in these places there are spaces and mental health professionals for the care of migrants.
“Among other services available at the Asylum Seeker Resource Navigation Center is mental health care. We ask all asylum seekers who need mental health support to use these services, and anyone in our city with anxiety, depression, or mental health issues of any kind to call 888-NYC-WELL. We are here for all of you”, concluded the high president.