Peekskill girl visits father in immigration custody ahead of Christmas

Posted: Updated:
PEEKSKILL -

A Peekskill girl and her father had a bittersweet reunion on Sunday.

Jozelyn Zhinin, 8, has been separated from her father for a year and was looking forward to seeing him once again.

When she went to the county jail where her father was being held, Zhinin discovered she could only talk to him via video.

"The good is I saw him by video but it was also sad because I couldn't hug him or anything," Zhinin said.

Her father Manuel was detained by immigration officers a year ago after living in New York without documentation for 15 years. He was then sent more than a thousand miles away to a county jail in Alabama.

Immigration advocates like Luis Yumbla and others raised $6,000 to take Jozelyn and others to visit their fathers in immigration custody.

Yumbla hopes lawmakers can make a difference for these families.

"They are parents, they have families, they need to take these families and pass comprehension reform that fixes the issue of immigration that affections millions in the country," Yumbla says.

Jozelyn is still waiting to hear from the government to find out if her father will be deported or if they will be reunited.

 

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