Politics

U.S. Begins Reuniting Some Families Who Were Separated At Border By Trump Administration

Biden promised on the campaign trail that he would form a task force to reunite families who were separated.

Maria Montelongo raises her fist at the Families Belong Together rally at the Capitol in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, June 30, 2018. | Reuters
Maria Montelongo raises her fist at the Families Belong Together rally at the Capitol in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, June 30, 2018. | Reuters

The Biden administration announced Monday that it will reunite some of the families who were separated at the U.S. border under former President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy. The Washington Post reported that “two of them include mothers who were separated from their children in late 2017, one Honduran and the other Mexican.”

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced that the administration is reuniting four families — and it’s “just the beginning.” Some of the children affected were reportedly as young as three years old when their parents were removed from the U.S. The Trump administration policy is estimated to have separated at least 5,000 families at the U.S. border.

Biden promised on the campaign trail that he would form a task force to reunite families who were separated, after reports last fall found that the parents of more than 500 children, who were deported under Trump administration policy, could be located.

The parents who are being reunited with their families will be granted “humanitarian parole,” NBC News reported, and the task force is aiming to identify “longer-term status” for them in the U.S.

“We are reuniting the first group of families, many more will follow, and we recognize the importance of providing these families with the stability and resources they need to heal,” Mayorkas said in a statement.

Mayorkas added that the task force “has been working day and night, across the federal government and with counsel for the families and our foreign partners, to address the prior administration’s cruel separation of children from their parents.”

In 2018, the Trump administration separated thousands of families at the U.S.-Mexico border, prompting outrage and widespread protests to “Keep Families Together” across the country. According to NBC News, “the administration later confirmed that it had actually begun separating families in 2017 along some parts of the border under a pilot program.”

Groups including Justice in Motion have been searching on-the-ground for separated parents in Central America and Mexico, and also seeking funding to assist in searches.

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