The Government of the President of the United States, Joe Biden, will begin as of tomorrow, Tuesday, to reunify some of the immigrant families separated by the Administration of his predecessor Donald Trump (2017-2021).
As a first step, the US authorities will allow four women from Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, who were once separated from them at the border and deported to their countries of origin, to see their children again.
These women are expected to enter the US through Texas and California.
In an interview with CBS News television, US Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) Alejandro Mayorkas emphasized the “extraordinary commitment” of the Biden Administration to reunite these families.
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Later, in a statement, the official said that this “is just the beginning.”
“We are going to bring together the first group of families, many more will follow, and we recognize the importance of providing these families with the resources and stability they need,” Mayorkas said.
Currently, there are more than 1,000 separated immigrant families, according to DHS data, as a result of the “zero tolerance” policy applied by the Trump Executive between April and June 2018 until a federal judge ordered its cancellation and demanded that the separated people will be reunited.
Most of the families have been reunited in recent years, although there are still about 1,000 left, mainly because in these cases the adults, the majority from Central America, were deported.
There are family separations dating back to late 2017, long before that Trump policy officially began. Some of the children left in US custody were so young when they were taken away from their parents that they hardly remember their relatives.
The first four families will be reunited through a task force created by Biden shortly after arriving at the White House on January 20.
Speaking to the press on Sunday, Mayorkas had stated that his team was “dedicated” to finding each family to give them the opportunity to get back together.
“There are children who were three years old at the time of separation. There are adolescents who had to live without their parents during their years of higher education, there are mothers who fled from extremely dangerous situations in their countries of origin, who have remained in dangerous environments in Mexico, hoping to be reunited with their children, “he explained. the immigration officer.
Pro-immigrant groups estimate that the relatives of at least 445 minors have not yet been located.
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Among those who will meet this week is a mother separated from her children at the border in late 2017 after fleeing Honduras. There is another case of a Mexican woman who was removed from her offspring also at the end of 2017.
According to sources quoted by The New York Times, another 30 migrants are expected to enter the country with humanitarian permits within the next 30 to 60 days.
The executive director of the White House task force for family reunification, Michelle Brané, detailed in a videoconference that temporary authorization will be granted to parents to enter the United States through a mechanism called “ humanitarian permit ”.
Brané confirmed that there are more than 1,000 families and explained that they do not have an exact number because of the Trump Administration that did not make a complete record.
The Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which has acted as an advocate for these immigrants, estimates that with Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, some 2,800 migrant families, with about 5,500 minors, were separated.
At that time, the Government classified the children as minors without the company of a father or mother, and distributed them in different parts of the country, in shelters under government custody.
Following the announcement, ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt noted that his organization is pushing for “permanent status” to be granted to these families, in addition to compensation and social services.
During the election campaign, Biden promised to reunite separated families and called the Trump Administration’s policy “criminal.”
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Precisely immigration management has choked Biden during his first months in office due to the record numbers of undocumented immigrants who have arrived at the border, many of them minors.
For a year now, the number of undocumented immigrants arriving at the border from Mexico and being detained by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been growing, jumping from 101,028 in February to 172,131 in March.
In February, CBP arrested 9,881 minors who arrived alone, while the number rose to 18,890 in March.
Since the end of that last month, the number of minors in CBP custody has fallen 88%, reaching 677 this weekend, compared to 5,767 on March 28.
The minors were spending an average of 130 hours in March in CBP facilities, which are not prepared for this type of tenants, a time greater than the three days that the agency has by law to deliver them to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
According to Mayorkas, children and adolescents currently spend an average of 20 hours in the hands of CBP. EFE