Immigrant mother and daughter at center of family separation controversy reunited in Houston

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A mother from El Salvador and her 6-year-old daughter were reunited in Houston Friday morning as part of the court-ordered reunification of separated migrant families.

Cindy Madrid and her daughter Allison Ximena were separated in June on the border.

They became the face of the separated family controversy when the girl was recorded crying for her family at a detention center in McAllen.

Audio of the child crying was released to the website ProPublica.

The recording drew international criticism of President Trump's zero tolerance immigration policy that separated children from their parents who were caught crossing into the United States illegally.

Allison's mother said she fled El Salvador and crossed the border, seeking asylum. When they were separated, Allison was sent hundreds of miles away to Arizona.

Cindy heard the recording and recognized her daughter's voice. Her attorney Thelma Garcia says they both underwent DNA tests to confirm that they are mother and child.

They were reunited Friday at Bush Airport. They will stay in Houston for now.

"We've got an uphill battle. It is going to be complicated. It is going to be difficult. We are hoping to put all our resources and work hard on her case," Garcia said.

According to the latest reunification numbers from the Justice Department, 57 children have been reunited with their families.

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