UPDATED 4/4/22 MONDAY 10:10 P.M.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – A woman fleeing Ukraine has been reunited with her husband and daughter after they were separated by border patrol in Mexico.
Ganna Harrison was trying to enter the border with her 10-year old daughter Sofiya Harrison when she was detained. Her husband says he hadn’t heard from her since the incident, but around 8 p.m. Monday, she was released and the family was reunited.
Ganna Harrison walked across the street from the facility she was being held at, borrowed a phone from a security guard at a McDonald’s, and called her husband — Brad Harrison.
ORIGINAL STORY: Border Patrol separates Utah family fleeing Ukraine
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – A Utah man is looking for answers and help after his wife was detained in Mexico.
On March 31, US border enforcement detained Ukrainian refugee Ganna (pronounced Anna) Harrison as she attempted to cross over the border from Tijuana, Mexico. Ganna was separated from her husband Brad Harrison and daughter Sofiya Harrison, both US citizens who were admitted access to the United States.
Since Ganna’s detainment, she has had no contact with her family for over four days. Ganna’s family has received no update from Immigration and Customs Enforcement on her condition, processing status, or even location. Officials claimed that Ganna would only be detained for one to two days for “Processing Humanitarian Parole”.
Harrison remarked that before executing their family’s plan to flee Ukraine upon Russia’s invasion, the family consulted with federal employees to ensure that they would be able to enter the country from Mexico. He also mentioned that the family’s names, appearances, and car info were provided to border offices to ensure that the family could enter the US.
Despite this, Harrison said that Ganna was treated “like an absolute criminal” at the border.
Harrison commented that as of April 4th, his lawyers attempted to reach out to border control to expedite Ganna’s “processing” and get an update on her wellbeing. They responded to Brad’s lawyer by saying that they do not have Ganna’s location; in other words, she is lost and unaccounted for. Ganna’s family is confused and outraged and is hoping for any update or information on her wellbeing.
Brad said that he “just wants to know if his wife is ok, and to get her out.”
Brad is originally from Spanish Fork, UT, which he says is home for his entire family, including Ganna. Brad and Ganna met through mutual friends while he worked abroad as an air traffic controller. Sofiya was able to cross the border safely. As of March 4th, Sofiya and Brad are residing nearby where Ganna was detained, hoping to be reunited promptly
The Harrisons and their friends and family are calling Utahns to reach out to Gov. Spencer Cox and Senators Mitt Romney and Mike Lee to help find Ganna and get her reunited with her family.
Utah State Senator Mike McKell commented on Ganna’s situation in a letter to the Department of Homeland Security and US Customs and Border Patrol on April 4th, saying, “This mistreatment is unacceptable. The administration has declared that the U.S. will take 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. The experience Anna is going through makes me wonder how many other Ukrainians are in custody and being treated similarly. Refugees from Ukraine deserve our help and respect. Let’s start by releasing Anna, the wife of an Air Force veteran and mother of a U.S. citizen, and show her and other refugees that the U.S. is behind Ukraine and will help any way we can.”