Washington The Joe Biden administration’s efforts to reunite immigrant children separated from their parents under the zero-tolerance border policy during Donald Trump’s presidency have made incremental progress towards the end of their first year.
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The Department of Homeland Security was preparing to announce later Thursday that 100 minors, most of them from Central America, had already been reunited with their families and that 350 more reunifications were in progress.
“I would have liked this to happen soon, but we are making progress and I think we are gaining momentum,” said Michelle Brane, executive director of the Task Force for Family Reunification.
On his first day as president, Biden signed an executive order to reunite families separated under Trump’s widely condemned policy of forcibly separating children from their parents at the US-Mexico border, as part of a campaign to curb illegal immigration.
The work of the task force was hampered by a number of factors, such as the lack of sufficient documentation on family separation, the huge number of cases, and the fact that many parents live in remote communities in Central America, which is why it was difficult to contact them so that they could reunite their children.
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In September, the unit was able to reunite 50 families when the Biden government announced a partnership with the International Organization for Migration to speed up the process and create an online portal –Juntos.gov the Together.govFor parents to contact the US government and work together on the reunification process.
About 5,000 minors were forcibly separated from their parents under the Trump administration, most of them in 2018, as part of an effort to use criminal cases to stop illegal border crossings, even as migrants surrendered to authorities to seek asylum, which is permitted by law. Law.
After widespread stigma, including from Republican politicians, Trump ended the practice in June 2018, just days before a judge ordered the practice to be halted, in response to a suit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union.
In an interview shortly before the official announcement, Brany estimated there were about 1,150 minors whose parents have not been located. The total varies as some cases are resolved and others emerge, even some that are discovered through an internet portal.
“Obviously we’re not close to the end,” Brany said. “This is just the beginning, but we hope that families understand that the reunion is taking place and that they are encouraged to introduce themselves.”