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Parents Separated From Children Held At ICE Facility In Aurora

By Rick Sallinger

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)- More than four dozen parents whose children have been taken away from them while crossing the U.S. border from Mexico are being held at a detention facility in Colorado.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities confirm that about 50 parents are being held at the GEO-run facility in Aurora.

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Where their young ones are living is not necessarily clear.

Mekela Goehring of the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network says her attorneys have been meeting with the mothers and fathers detained in Aurora.

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"Yeah it's horrific, parents are crying, reliving the last moments that they had with their children," she told CBS 4 investigator Rick Sallinger.

CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger interviews Mekela Goehring (credit: CBS)

More than 2,000 children have been held at the various centers around the country. Now, they are to be reunited with their parents under an executive order signed by Pres. Donald Trump on Wednesday.

President Trump Signs Executive Order Ending Family Separations At Border
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 20: U.S. President Donald Trump displays an executive order he signed that will end the practice of separating family members who are apprehended while illegally entering the United States on June 20, 2018 in Washington, DC. The order would detain parents and children together. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Attorneys from the Immigrant Advocacy Network have been providing legal advice to parents that have been described as desperate.

Interfaith Clergy Visit TX Detention Center And Demand End To Family Separation
MCALLEN, TX - JUNE 21: A Honduran child plays at the Catholic Charities Humanitarian Respite Center after recently crossing the U.S., Mexico border with his father on June 21, 2018 in McAllen, Texas. Once families and individuals are released from Customs and Border Protection to continue their legal process, they are brought to the center to rest, clean up, enjoy a meal and get guidance to their next destination. Before Trump signed an executive order yesterday that the administration says halts the practice of separating families seeking asylum, more than 2,300 immigrant children had been separated from their parents in the zero-tolerance policy for border crossers. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

One woman's case came to Goehring's mind, "She was told that her son was going to go get a bath. It was the last time that she saw him."

Mekela Goehring (credit: CBS)

Another mother was released from the Aurora facility. She came to Casa de la Paz, a nonprofit home for those released from immigration detention who are looking for help.

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The Aurora home's founder, Sarah Jackson, says one woman named Angelica stayed there. She was from Guatemala it took her three weeks to travel from Guatemala to the border.

CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger interviews Sarah Jackson (credit: CBS)

It was there Jackson says Angelica's daughter was taken away. Angelica was sent to the detention facility in Aurora. Jackson says they are trying to help her and others.

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"Finding every single mom and dad who needs a little bit of help to be able to talk to their child and we are putting a $20 phone card in their name so they can talk to their kids," said Jackson.

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Casa de Paz says it is holding a fundraiser to assist Angelica, who is now in New England free on bond, to get reunited with her daughter and to assist other detained parents. The fundraiser is at Cerveceria Colorado located at 1635 Platte St. in Denver on July 13 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

CBS4's Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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