US begins reuniting some families separated at Mexico border

US begins reuniting some families separated at Mexico border
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Source: AP Photo
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Daily US Times: On Monday, the Biden administration said that four families that were separated at the Mexico border during the former Donald Trump’s presidency will be reunited in the US this week in what Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas calls “just the beginning” of a broader effort.

Two of the four families include mothers who were separated from their children in late 2017, one Mexican and Honduran, Mayorkas said, declining to give any detail about their identities.

The Homeland Security Secretary described them as children who were 3 years old at the time and “teenagers who have had to live without their parent during their most formative years.”

Parents will return to the US on humanitarian parole while authorities consider other longer-term forms of legal status, said executive director of the administration’s Family Reunification Task Force Michelle Brane. The children are already in the United States.

Exactly how many families will reunite in the US and in what order is linked to negotiations with the American Civil Liberties Union to settle a federal lawsuit in San Diego, but Homeland Security Secretary said there were more to come.

Mayorkas told reporters ahead of the announcement: “We continue to work tirelessly to reunite many more children with their parents in the weeks and months ahead.”

During the Trump administration going back to July 1, 2017, more than 5,000 children were separated from their parents in the Mexico border, many of them under a “zero-tolerance” policy to criminally prosecute any adult who entered the country illegally, according to court filings.

The current Joe Biden administration is doing its own count going back to Trump’s inauguration in January 2017 and, according to Brane, believes more than 1,000 families remain separated.

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