The US Secretary of Homeland Security announced Thursday that more than 200 immigrant children separated from their parents under former President Donald Trump’s mandate have been reunited with their families.
“So far we have collected more than 200 children with their parents and it is estimated that about 1,000 children are still separated” from their families, Alejandro Mallorcas said during a hearing in the House of Representatives.
Among this last group of minors who are still separated, the authorities have made contact with 500 parents and 400 children have been reunited with their relatives, the minister said.
Under Trump’s so-called “zero tolerance” policy, launched in 2018, at least 4,000 minors have been separated from their families at the Mexican border, according to figures from the Department of Homeland Security, and 5,500 according to court documents. .
After his inauguration in January 2021, Democratic President Joe Biden promised a more “humane” immigration policy, creating a task force to reunite children separated from their parents.
“We allow them to meet here in the United States and give them humanitarian clearance so that they have some stability for a three-year renewable period on a case-by-case basis,” Mayorcas explained.
Joe Biden has announced his support for financial compensation to families of immigrants separated at the border, but his government abandoned negotiations in that direction with the families’ attorneys in December 2021, insisting that a deal could be reached in the future.
The plaintiffs, who are seeking compensation for the psychological damage inflicted on the breakup, have announced that they will continue their legal battle.
Alejandro Mallorcas on Wednesday also outlined a plan to better manage migration flows, including increasing the number of staff at the border, targeting smugglers, speeding up procedures and helping organizations receiving asylum seekers.
“It’s going to take some time, and we need help from Congress, state and local elected officials, and NGOs,” he said.
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