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Parents Of 628 Children Separated At Border Still Haven’t Been Found, Court Filing Says

by : Cameron Frew on : 03 Dec 2020 14:04
Donald Trump Border PolicyDonald Trump Border PolicyPA Images

The parents of 628 migrant children, separated due to Donald Trump’s ‘zero-tolerance’ policy, have still not been located.

The ‘lame duck’ POTUS introduced the US-Mexico border initiative back in 2018, with mandatory criminal prosecution for any illegal border crossing, leading to the separation of hundreds of children from their mums and dads.

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Earlier in November, it was reported that 666 children were still without their parents. Now, the number of parents still to be located stands at 628.

545 Children Are Still Separated From Their Parents Under Trump's 'Zero-Tolerance' Border Policy545 Children Are Still Separated From Their Parents Under Trump's 'Zero-Tolerance' Border PolicyPA Images

As per CNN, a recent court filing from the Justice Department and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) detailed that 38 parents had been found since the previous update. While 628 parents have still to be located, relatives for 168 of the children have been contacted.

In another development, the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review will also hand over phone numbers and addresses which will help the ACLU in its pursuit of the children’s parents, wherever they may be.

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Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, said: ‘We’ve been asking them for any additional information they have forever and we only finally got this information after outcry that parents still could not be found and the issue reached the presidential debate level. This is information we should’ve gotten a year ago, at least a year ago.’

545 Children Are Still Separated From Their Parents Under Trump's 'Zero-Tolerance' Border Policy545 Children Are Still Separated From Their Parents Under Trump's 'Zero-Tolerance' Border PolicyPA Images

He added: ‘We hope we can find a significant number of parents and children through this information. But make no mistake about it: Not only has the Trump administration not been helping us, but it’s now clear they failed to disclose information in their possession.’

President-elect Joe Biden has promised to sign an executive order focused solely on reunited children with their families. In an earlier debate, he said: ‘Their kids were ripped from their arms and separated, and now they cannot find over 500 of the sets of those parents, and those kids are alone. Nowhere to go. Nowhere to go. It’s criminal.’

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BidenBidenPA Images

As per NBC News, Gelernt also previously said: 

People ask when we will find all of these families, and sadly, I can’t give an answer. I just don’t know. But we will not stop looking until we have found every one of the families, no matter how long it takes. The tragic reality is that hundreds of parents were deported to Central America without their children, who remain here with foster families or distant relatives.

Outside the context of only the ‘zero-tolerance’ initiative, the Southern Poverty Law Centre estimates that more than 3,000 children have been separated from their families under the Trump administration.

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: News, Donald Trump, immigration, Mexico, Now, US

Credits

CNN and 2 others
  1. CNN

    Parents of 628 migrant children separated at border still have not been found, court filing says

  2. NBC News

    Lawyers say they can't find the parents of 545 migrant children separated by Trump administration

  3. Southern Poverty Law Centre

    Family Separation