White House admits 559 children still separated from their families
Trump’s national disgrace of kidnapping migrant children at the border and ripping families apart remains unresolved.
Today, weeks after a federal judge demanded the children be reunited with their parents, 559 remain separated, according to a new government filing.
“Of the 559 children, 386 remain separated because their family members are not in the U.S.; 51 because contact has yet to be made with family members; 87 because ‘red flags’ came up during the family members’ background checks; 88 because the parents are facing separate prosecution; 163 because family members ‘indicated desire against reunification;’ and 20 because ‘further review’ has shown the government didn’t actually separate them from their parents,” the San Diego Tribune reports.
Over the last week, as the government supposedly worked to find the children’s parents, just 13 additional families were reunited.
The misery all stems from Trump’s radical departure from U.S. policy earlier this year, when the administration decided to criminally prosecute all border crossers. That prompted mandatory family separation, because children by law are not allowed to be held in federal detention and were sent to different facilities.
Some migrant parents were lied to in the process, pressured to sign away custody rights to their children. Hundreds of parents were deported without being given a choice of whether to leave their children behind.
The administration was ordered by U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw to reunite all separated children with their parents by the end of July. But it quickly became apparent that the government had no plans for how to effectively and quickly reunite families. The administration promptly failed to meet the deadlines set by the court.
To date, 559 children have not been reunited with their parents. And there’s a significant chance that many of them never will be reunited, especially in the cases of the nearly 400 children whose parents have already been deported.
“The reality is,” Judge Sabraw said during a hearing last week, “for every parent who is not located, there will be a permanently orphaned child, and that is 100% the responsibility of the administration.”