The US president Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that efforts will starry to identify and reunite families that were separated at the US-Mexico border last year by the Trump administration and remain apart till now.
More precisely, President Biden has signed an executive order to create a special task force whose aim will be to reunite the families. This executive order brings him a step closer to fulfilling a campaign promise. President Biden stated that with this action the Biden’s administration “is going to work to undo the moral and national shame” caused by the Trump administration that took the children from their families at the border and had no plan to reunite the children in custody with their parents.
However, there are no details on the scale or timing of this laborious plan. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is going to meet with the president to make recommendations. The task force will collaborate with the US government, with key stakeholders, with representatives of the families impacted, as well as with partners across the globe to find parents and children that were separated by the Trump administration, according to a senior administration official.
The families impacted by the Trump migration policy are many since the Trump administration separated approximately 5.000 children from their families on the border between July 2017 and June 2018 to reduce migration fluxes. The American Civil Liberties Union says that at least 1.000 of these families remain separated, with parents living in Central America and children living in the care of relatives in the U.S. This Union had sued the government over this policy.
Moreover, a major problem in reuniting families is the lack of efficient government recording. It remains unclear how many parents were deported without their children, as well as where these parents are living. Attorneys and advocates have been trying to reach these parents, sometimes by even sending search parties into remote parts of Central America.
Lastly, parents affected by these measures have been trying to raise their children through video calls and some of them have returned to the US border with the hope to find their children there, but were once again apprehended by immigration officers and deported for the second time.