After President Donald Trump used his draconian “zero-tolerance” policy as a bargaining chip to get funding for a pointless border wall along the U.S. southern border with Mexico, his administration has reportedly deported 463 parents from the country despite a federal order to reunite the families. . The deported parents were first separated from their children under Trump’s child separation policy that outraged people across the country – and now apparently their children are left all alone in America.
According to court filings by the Justice Department lawyers, these families may have also lost the right to get reunited. The Trump administration said that the parents who were deported “had the opportunity to bring their kid with them, but willingly left without them.”
However, government lawyers argued it still remains vague if the parents voluntarily left their kids or whether they were forcefully removed from the country without their children. They further argued the parents might have not fully understood to what they were agreeing to.
"These parents urgently need consultations with lawyers, so that they do not mistakenly strand their children in the United States," the ACLU said in the joint court filing.
What is even more confusing is that these 463 cases are still “under review” – so the government is still not clear if all of them have been deported or not, plus the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has failed to generate a list of names of the parents that have been deported.
Earlier, there were reports of asylum-seekers being forced to take their children back. The parents were apparently told they must voluntarily agree to be deported to get their children back.
A Honduran refugee father said he had to give up his asylum application and signed a deportation agreement voluntarily so as to reunite with his 6-year-old daughter, who is thousands of miles away from him in Arizona.
He said initially he agreed to sign for deportation but is now trying to rescind his cooperation offer.
The unclear report also claimed that 879 families were successfully reunited and another 538 parents are in government custody waiting for transportation for reunification.
Another hearing of the case is scheduled for Tuesday where lawmakers hope to get a clearer picture.
Thumbnail/Banner Image: Reuters