Pregnant Queens mother released from ICE custody, reunited with children

Posted at 7:40 AM, Jul 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-09 08:03:23-04

NEW YORK — A 33-year-old mother from Queens spent nearly three months separated from her family when she was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents at a Queens courthouse back in April.

It was an emotional scene when Alma Centeno-Santiago returned home over the weekend.

The pregnant and already a mother to two children, Centeno discussed the conditions at the detention center as "uncomfortable" and said she got sick. She lost a lot of weight and had two stomach infections. She asked for help, but never got it.

Ceteno-Santiago was taken into ICE custody in April and was transferred to the Bergen County Jail. She was there until the end of June, when her family and attorneys found out she was moved to Louisiana.

Although she has been reunited with her family, Centeno-Santiago's ordeal is not over. She's due back in court for another hearing and is still at risk for deportation.

If you or someone you know needs help with immigration matters, call the New York Legal Assistance Group at 212-613-5000. Their website,  has information about legal consultations and more resources to get help.