Reuniting Families

by | Mar 2, 2021 | IMMIGRATION LAW

It was big headlines during the administration of the former guy. They were separating children from their parents and holding them in cages. It was pretty well accepted that cruelty was part of the strategy; and that’s not a surprise in light of the personality of our past president.
The separation of children from their parents began in 2017. Prior to that folks were usually allowed into the country or detained together to await their immigration court hearings. In June of 2018 DHS publicly acknowledged that they had separated approximately 2,000 children from their parents during April and May of that year. On June 26, 2018, as the result of a class action filed by the ACLU, the U.S. District Court ordered the reunification of children with their parents within thirty (30) days. By July 26, 2018 some 900 children still remained separated from their parents. In October of 2018 Amnesty International reported that the number of children separated is actually over 6,000. The administration continued to state falsely that they do not have a policy of separating children from their parents.
In February of 2019 the Texas Civil Rights Project reported that separations were continuing despite the court order. During these separations children were sexually and physically abused. They were not given adequate food, water or sanitation. As recently as October of 2020, the New York Times reported that parents of at least 545 children still could not be found. Begging the question whether the previous administration was making a diligent effort to reunite these children.
To his credit President Biden created a task force last month to work on the reunification of these children. “With the first action today we are going to work to undo the moral and national shame of the previous administration that literally, not figuratively, ripped children from the arms of their families at the border and with no plan, none whatsoever, to reunify the children who are still in custody and their parents,” he said.
Thankfully some 105 families have been reunited since Biden took office. Indeed today it was reported that hundreds of migrant children still separated from their parents by the Trump administration may be allowed to reunite with their families in the United States — and some families may have the opportunity to stay, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced on Monday.
It’s a welcome change from the horrors of the past administration. Let’s hope it stays that way.

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