That woman, Mabel Gonzalez, reunited with her sons, Mino and Erick, at a family gathering in Philadelphia Tuesday. Video shows her lock them in a tearful group hug for the first time in over three years -- when they were separated at the US-Mexico border.
The family fled Honduras in the fall of 2017 and scattered across the continent. Her oldest son Alex and her husband had crossed into the U.S.
She and her two younger sons attempted to do the same when they were stopped in New Mexico. Gonzalez spent two years in Immigrations and Customs Enforcement detention before she was deported back to Honduras, the very country she fled because of violence.
The family is among the first to be reunited by organizations working with the Biden administration's Family Reunification Taskforce. The family is one of the thousands of families that were separated under former President Donald Trump's "zero-tolerance" policy that was aimed at deterring illegal immigration.
Immigration and family attorney Karenina Wolff helped Alex, who was already in Philadelphia, become his brothers' legal guardian.
"Alex was only 19 and working when he stepped up to support [his brothers]," Wolff said. "For me, to see their mom and the boys be reunited with their mom is really moving."
Alex told our sister station WPVI-TV he "feels a little bit freer."
"Before I had a lot of headaches, a lot of stress, everything was on me. And now I feel a little bit lighter knowing that I'm not alone in this anymore," he said.
Alex said when they first reunited, his mom wrapped her arms around him and told him how proud she was of him for taking care of his younger brothers in her absence.
ABC News contributed to this report.