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Biden to start reunifying migrant families separated by Trump-era border policy

WorldMay 03, 2021 05:20AM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. Members of the Mexican National Guard ask people to leave a park, on the side of the Rio Bravo river, as they try to control the influx of migrants crossing toward the U.S., in Ciudad Juarez 2/2

By Mimi Dwyer and Ted Hesson

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The United States this week will reunite four migrant families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border during the Trump administration, U.S. officials said, a small step toward fulfilling a campaign promise by President Joe Biden.

The families will be allowed to enter the United States through an emergency process known as "humanitarian parole," Michelle Brane, who heads a Biden-created task force that aims to reunite separated families, told a call with reporters on Sunday.

"In these cases that we're talking about this week, the children are in the United States and the parents are coming to join them," Brane said.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is considering whether they could be granted longer-term immigration status, she said.

Lee Gelernt, lead attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued former President Donald Trump's administration over the separations policy, said his organization did not know how many children remain separated from parents but that the number was likely more than 1,000.

The Biden administration has been grappling in recent months with a sharp rise in migrant crossings at the border, including unaccompanied minors and families with young children, mostly from Central America.

The Trump administration, known for its hardline stance on immigration, adopted a blanket "zero-tolerance" policy of prosecuting all unauthorized border crossers in spring 2018, resulting in the mass separation of parents from their children.

Trump reversed the policy that summer amid an international outcry, but advocates and government watchdogs found separations began before the policy and continued after it. In some cases, parents were deported and children remained in the United States with other relatives or sponsors.

Biden has called family separations under Trump a "human tragedy."

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who also participated in the call with reporters, declined to provide details about the families, citing privacy concerns, but noted that one is Honduran and another Mexican.

Both have been separated since 2017, he said, adding that the reunifications this week would be "the first of many."

Biden to start reunifying migrant families separated by Trump-era border policy
 

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Comments (6)
Sam Caroni
Sam Caroni May 04, 2021 3:21AM ET
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"who built the cages, Joe?"
Catholic Man
CatholicMan May 04, 2021 1:53AM ET
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So the new definition of reunify is "let illegals in".
Red Riley
Red Riley May 03, 2021 11:23PM ET
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1984 and you still can't make these lies true
Kim Gay
Kim Gay May 03, 2021 11:03AM ET
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Send the kids back to Mexico with their irresponsible parents. Trump had this border problem fixed and Biden/Harris screwed it up again!
Adrian White
Adrian White May 03, 2021 11:03AM ET
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No. Trump had hundreds of kids in cages, separated from their parents, with no records kept of where the parents were moved to, and no easy way to reunite them. That's hardly "fixed".
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel May 03, 2021 8:01AM ET
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Biden admin is one of chaos and disorder. This precedent tells all families south of US border to send their kids up first since they can later claim family separation. How inhumane to reward this illegal crossing where many of those same children are victimized.
Adrian White
Adrian White May 03, 2021 8:01AM ET
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So that means you advocate separating small kids from their families and keeping them apart indefinitely then, like the Trump Administration did?
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar May 03, 2021 7:03AM ET
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Jajaja
 
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