Transcript for Family reunion overwhelms traumatized adolescent boy
It was last night here, we reported on a young boy separated from his father eighth months ago. Left back here in the U.S., after his father was deported. Well, tonight, eight months later, we're there as he says good-bye to his foster home in the U.S. And arrives home in Guatemala hours later. The trauma on his face all over again. ABC's Alex Perez tonight on the journey. Reporter: It's 4:00 in the morning, and 10-year-old Samuel is already at the airport, after a late night of packing up his teddy bear and art supplies. He's about to Bob a flight from Michigan back home his native Guatemala to reunite with his family he hasn't seen in eight months. Samuel, with his foster parents, who are still fostering other children, so, we agreed not to show their faces. They, and their own three children, have been caring for Samuel since the boy's father illegally crossed the border with him and they were apprehended. Immigration officials immediately separating them, his father deported, already back in Guatemala. His father was then taken away in what he described as handcuffs behind his back. And our boy was then detained for 24 hours in a detention facility. But when he came to us, he was extraordinarily fearful. He was afraid to eat. He was afraid to look. His clothes were soiled. He wouldn't use the bathroom. Reporter: His father deported to Guatemala, but the boy still here in the United States. Separated from his parents, able to speak to his mother only by phone. He was overcome. He couldn't talk he was crying so hard. He was almost to the point of being sick. Reporter: Since the separation, Samuel, living here in their home, drawing, playing, becoming one of the family. And this Moring, as Samuel said good-bye, tears and hugs from his new family in America. As he boards his flight to family in Guatemala. Samuel boards the plane accompanied by an I.C.E. Agent. The big question tonight, with president trump signing that executive order today, what will happen to the families now separated whose parents have gone back to their country, but their kids are still in America? And what about the detained parents who've been moved to difference cities in the U.S. Away from their children? Back in Guatemala, waiting in tears, his father, anacleto Cortez. I ask him how he feels. I may look like I'm okay, he says, but my heart has been in pain because of this. About eight hours later, Samuel lands in Guatemala City. And after an evaluation by doctor he's brought in to reunite with his family. The tearful look in his eyes and confusion on his face. The room filled with government officials. Samuel, overwhelmed. Appearing shell-shocked. Going back to a family he loves and having to leave a family he loves. And Alex Perez joins us live tonight from Guatemala City. Alex, it was difficult to watch that reunion. We know he was separated from his family, then eight months here without them, then the tears leaving his foster family here, then the trauma again when he arrived home late today. You've been in touch with his foster family back here in the U.S. Tonight. What are they telling you? Reporter: Tt's right, David. I just got off the phone with his foster mom, and she says she's still very concerned about all the trauma he's faced with all of this back and forth, but she says, she's committed to maintaining a relationship with him and says they even plan to financially help with some of his basic needs. They've already helped dad buy a bed for him. David? Alex Perez tonight. Alex, thank you.
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