The Trump administration’s controversial family separation policy at the US-Mexico border may have ended in 2018, but families and children in the US, Mexico and Central America are still feeling the effects years later.
More than 1,000 families affected by the policy are not united, NBC News reported this week.
In 185 cases, the parents who were separated from their children and probably deported have not even been located. The Atlantic Ocean reports.
When Joe Biden took office, the president signed an executive order to create a task force to find and unite the more than 5,000 families segregated under the Trump White House.
The previous government did not keep records whose families were separated and where several members were sent, so the process often involves a meticulous search for any trace of the divided families. Many of the parents were deported before being reunited with their children.
In early August, Biden’s family reunification task force announced it had reconnected 400 children with their parents, a milestone being celebrated by lawyers.
“We are excited about the hundreds of children who will finally be with their parents after all these years, but we are not even halfway through the reunification of all the families who remain separated by the Trump administration,” Lee Gelernt, an ACLU attorney those separated families, NBC told. “Indeed, we still haven’t found 200 families. I think the Biden administration agrees that there is still a lot of work to be done.”
The independent has contacted Border Patrol for comment.
In July, four parents were forcibly separated from their families in Arizona sued the federal governmentarguing that they received “no notice, no information and no plan for reunification.
According to the lawsuit, a Guatemalan parent, identified in the complaint as MSE, came to the US via Yuma to seek asylum. They turned themselves into Border Patrol agents, who forcibly separated her from her 14-year-old son for weeks.
The boy said the incident deeply traumatized him.
“I’m big now, so I’m trying to be strong. But I still feel broken inside,” the teen, identified as JM in the lawsuit, said in court documents.
“We are suing the Biden administration to ensure that these families receive the compensation they deserve for the trauma inflicted on them by the federal government,” Tami Goodlette, RAICES process director, said in a statement. until The Republic of Arizona. “Zero Tolerance was a deliberate act of abuse, and it is the responsibility of the current administration to repair the ongoing damage these families are doing.”
In 2021, the Biden administration abandoned negotiations on financial settlements for divorced families and has defended family separations as legal in court earlier this year.