Segments in this Video

U.S. Immigration (02:48)


Attorney General Jeff Sessions announces a zero tolerance policy on illegal immigration. Maria, recently released from ICE detention, has been separated from her son Alex for 70 days.

U.S. Detention Center (02:56)

Maria describes the violence in San Pedro Sula, Honduras and treatment at the center; Alex is sent to the Cayuga migrant children's shelter in New York. The Trump Administration has four days to reunite families.

Family Separation (08:10)

Vilma discusses separation from her daughter, violence in Huehueteango, Guatemala, and fleeing to the U.S. Yeisvi, now with a foster family in Arizona, recalls witnessing her father's abusive behavior. The courts deny Vilma's asylum request.

Fight for Reunification (05:28)

Maria travels to New York to reunite with Alex and learns she must wait. Attorney Shana Tank discusses the state of Arizona's intent to deny Vilma custody of Yeisvi. ICE grants Vilma an asylum hearing but does not release her from detention.

Maria and Alex Reunite (04:41)

Maria describes separation from Alex; they reunite three days after she arrives in New York. Maria's friends welcome the pair into their home.

Vilma and Yeisvi Reunite (04:57)

Vilma leaves Irwin County Detention Center after 246 days; she reunites with Yeisvi in Arizona. A Phoenix family temporarily hosts the mother and daughter.

Yeisvi and Alex's Mental Health (04:38)

Vilma and Yeisvi discuss Yeisvi's unwillingness to speak when they lived in Guatemala; Vilma reflects on their separation. Maria worries about the impact of Alex's ordeal; she wants him to succeed in America.

Asylum Seekers (04:28)

Vilma and Yeisvi live with Vilma's brother in Georgia. Yeisvi worries Vilma will be taken away; Vilma wants her in counseling. In 2018 the U.S. grants asylum in 35% of cases; Vilma and Maria await hearings.

Credits: Torn Apart: Separated at the Border (00:54)

Credits: Torn Apart: Separated at the Border

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Torn Apart: Separated at the Border

3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Directed and produced by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Ellen Goosenberg Kent, the intimate 40-minute film follows two mothers who were each separated from their children in the United States for months and are desperate to reunite with them. After fleeing violence that claimed the life of her husband and two uncles in Honduras, María was detained and separated from her 10-year-old son Alex for 70 days, while Vilma, who fled from her abusive husband in Guatemala, was placed in ICE detention and saw her 11-year-old daughter Yeisvi put in foster care for eight months. The film tracks both women as they navigate a complicated system that has placed their children thousands of miles away with little access to communicate with them. With the help of pro-bono lawyers and community volunteers, Vilma and María eventually reunite with Yeisvi and Alex – and await uncertain futures as their asylum claims are still pending.

Length: 40 minutes

Item#: FMK195734

Copyright date: ©2019

Closed Captioned

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