Trump admin may have deported hundreds of parents without kids
- Author: Rogelio Becker Jul 28, 2018,
Jul 28, 2018, 8:56
The ACLU and government lawyers will return to court on Friday to discuss how to proceed.
As if that were not bad enough, there are reports the Department of Homeland Security and the HHS Department destroyed documents relating to the family separation policy.
Which numbers did the government provide?
"We've been working with two Central American children, ages 9 and 14, who were taken from their mother and held in the Cayuga Center in NY by the Office of Refugee Resettlement", Christie Turner with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), another legal group working with the separated children, told TPM. The Office of Refugee Resettlement is an agency of department.
The government said that 463 parents of immigrants children are no longer in the United States - which presumably means that most or all of these parents have been deported. However, only 1,442 of these children had been reunified with their families under Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody, while 378 others were released "in other appropriate circumstances". The policy quickly backfired amid global outrage from political and religious leaders and daily headlines about crying children taken from their parents.
That's how many parents' cases require further investigation, the government said Tuesday.
After first gathering at the White House, the kids and adults descended on Capitol Hill to demand lawmakers reverse Trump's edict and force family reunification.
A federal judge has ordered all families separated by the administration at the border reunited by Thursday, provided they are not ineligible due to issues like criminal history or safety concerns. The number includes some parents whom the government can't locate and those who authorities aren't certain are the parents of separated children.
The American Civil Liberties Union put out a statement on Thursday, which read, "These parents and children have lost valuable time together that can never be replaced". As previously reported, ACLU compiled personal declarations from several attorneys who have met with detained parents as part of a court filing on Wednesday.
The doctors called separating children "child abuse", but crucially, they also attacked the very concept of family detention, recounting stark neglect they found during 10 investigations into existing family detention centers, one now closed. Others also said the forms were hard to understand due to a language barrier or misinformation from immigration officials.
A charitable organization called FWD.US, founded by technology leaders including Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Dropbox founder Drew Houston was paying for the airline tickets, the bus tickets and the lodging for all the families newly reunited in the Phoenix area to get them to relatives living all over the United States, said Connie Phillips of Lutheran Social Services.
"Some of this information is still under review", they said in the filing.
21 children whose parents had "red flags" from their background checks.
"The reunification plan outlined to the court.is proceeding, and is expected to result in the reunification of all class members found eligible for reunification at this time by the court's July 26, 2018 deadline", it read.
Immigration advocates said the government's push to meet the court's deadline to reunite families was marred by confusion, and one said children had disappeared into a "black hole".
"It's the reality of the case".
Finding parents in Mexico or Central America will be a long, painstaking task, said ACLU attorney Stephen Kang.
"The fundamental flaw of family detention is not just the risk posed by the conditions of confinement-it's the incarceration of innocent children itself", the doctors wrote.
"Reunification will have been completed on time, which has to be highlighted, and the government has to be commended for its efforts in that regard".