(HOUSTON) — A Texas woman has been allowed to leave Mexico after being detained while trying to deliver Christmas gifts to a sprawling refugee camp housing people waiting for U.S. court dates.
Relatives of Anamichelle Castellano say she was arrested by Mexican authorities Monday at a bridge crossing from Brownsville, Texas, to Matamoros, Mexico. Castellano’s relatives say authorities discovered a small box of ammunition inside Castellano’s car, which they say was left by her husband following a previous hunting trip.
Mexico has strict laws against entering the country with guns or ammunition. Those laws occasionally ensnare Americans crossing the border.
Genaro Lopez, Castellano’s father, said Wednesday that she was released Tuesday and allowed to return to the U.S. Her car and the roughly 300 wrapped gifts she was carrying are still in Mexico, Lopez said.
Castellano and her husband, Jehu, operate a nonprofit called the Socorro Foundation. They are among the volunteers trying to help thousands of parents and children waiting in Mexican border towns to seek asylum in American immigration courts.
President Donald Trump’s administration has prevented many asylum seekers from entering the country or removed them from the U.S. while their cases are still pending under a policy known as “Remain in Mexico.”
“Our faith is very strong,” Lopez said on Wednesday. “God didn’t blink. He had a plan.”