Michael Avenatti (right)

Marla Diamond/WCBS 880

Rally Held As Migrant Children Remain Separated From Families In New York

July 11, 2018 - 1:57 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The federal government missed a court-ordered deadline to reunite migrant children under the age of 5 with their parents.

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, a rally demanding the children’s release was held Wednesday at the East Harlem facility where many of the children were taken.

The protesters chanted, “Shame! Shame! Shame!”

There was no family reunion Wednesday at the Cayuga Center for Hector Tejada and his 5- and 9-year-old girls. Tejada’s attorney, Michael Avenatti, said reunions are not happening.

“You know, quite honestly, they continue to show a complete disrespect for the rule of law; a complete disrespect for this judicial order,” Avenatti said.

Avenatti is best known for representing porn star Stormy Daniels. Daniels, also known as Stephanie Clifford, received $130,000 in hush money from Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen just before the 2016 U.S. presidential election in exchange for her silence about an alleged affair between her and then-candidate Donald Trump.

But Avenatti also represents several families separated at the border.

It is unclear how many migrant children remain in New York City, because elected officials cannot get answers from the federal government, according to New York state Assemblyman Michael Blake (D-The Bronx).

“What are you hiding, DHS? What are you hiding, HHS? What are you hiding, Donald Trump? Pence? All those that are associated right now? What are you hiding?” Blake said.

Meanwhile on Long Island, a 4-year-old is one of many young children who have not been reunited with their parents after being separated weeks ago.

As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, the child is one of 10 children at Mercy First in Syosset who have not seen their family members in weeks.

U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-New York) visited the facility recently.

“I don’t care whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican; you like the president, you don’t like the president; whatever it is – the idea of families getting broken up like this,” Suozzi said.

Suozzis aid the children at the facility range in age from 4 to 17.

“Kids are very resilient. A lot of these different agencies that are working on this do have experience with child welfare cases; with social workers and psychologists, but there’s no question there’s still going to be a lot of damage. And the parents as well, I mean, they’re crying. They’re freaking out about, you know, ‘Where are my kids; are they OK?’”

Mercy did not return Hall’s request for comment.