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Mon 03 May 2021:

The Biden administration will reunite four migrant children with their parents this week after they were separated from their families by the Trump administration at the southern border, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas announced on Monday.

“The Family Reunification Task Force has been working day and night, across the Federal government and with counsel for the families and our foreign partners, to address the prior administration’s cruel separation of children from their parents,” Mayorkas said in a statement. “Today is just the beginning. We are reuniting the first group of families, many more will follow, and we recognize the importance of providing these families with the stability and resources they need to heal.”


The parents will be given humanitarian parole to come back to the U.S., said Michelle Brané, executive director of Biden’s reunification task force.

The task force, created in February and chaired by Mayorkas, has been working to establish a database of separated families in order to find every individual who was separated from a loved one and provide them a chance to reunite.

“The Task Force’s initial report is due on June 2, 2021, and will provide a full update on the Task Force’s progress .

.. The Task Force has made critical progress in a short period of time, resulting in reunifications starting this week and many more in the weeks ahead,” the Department of Homeland Security said in the statement.

But the immigrant advocacy organization Al Otro Lado, or AOL, said the Biden administration is taking credit for reunifications it did very little to facilitate.

“Despite what Secretary Mayorkas would have the public believe, DHS has done nothing to facilitate the return and reunification of these parents this week, other than to agree to allow them in. The only reason these mothers will be standing at the port of entry is because Al Otro Lado negotiated their travel visas with the Mexican government, paid for their airline tickets and arranged for reunification,” said Carol Anne Donohoe, managing attorney of Al Otro Lado’s Family Reunification Project.

Press Secretary Jen Psaki earlier in April said the task force had identified and was reviewing 5,600 files on asylum-seeking migrants who may have been separated during the Trump administration.

President Joe Biden has consistently criticized the Trump administration’s hardline immigration policies, especially the controversial “zero tolerance” policy under which federal authorities separated children from their families after they illegally crossed the border.

Parents were sent to federal detention centers to await their court hearings while their children stayed in shelters operated by the Department of Health and Human Services. The policy was halted after generating massive backlash and legal defeats, but hundreds of migrant children reportedly still remain separated from their families.




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