Trump rescinded his decision to separate children from families, while they wait to be prosecuted, amid extreme bipartisan rebuke. However, many wondered how the government plans on family reunification, since thousands of these kids are scattered over various states.
A fact sheet on “zero-tolerance prosecution and family reunification” was released by the Department of Homeland Security in order to reunite families that were cruelly separated as they sought asylum in the U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials have posted notifications in all their facilities, advising parents, looking to reunite with their children, to call a hotline staffed five days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
However, according to the fact sheet, the department required the parents being deported, to make a request that their children must be deported with them. In the past, parents had chosen to be deported without their children, which may be because of the violence and persecution they face in their homelands.
Despite claims by the Trump administration, the reunification process will be far from simple.
The families seeking asylum in the United States are first stopped at the border by ICE, with the children taken into custody by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the adults detained through ICE.
The fact sheet, however, stated ICE has implemented an identification mechanism to ensure tracking of linked families and the reunification of parents with children before they leave the United States.
The inhumane zero-tolerance policy by Trump resulted in more than 2000 children being separated from their parents. Even though, the policy has now been rescinded, there is still no indication as to how the government plans on reunifying the children with their families. According to the fact sheet, the Port Isabel Service Processing Center in Texas will act as the staging ground for children to be handed over their parents prior to deportation but the details of how, these children will be identified, given related travel documents still remain vague.
Trump commented after rescinding the policy that his administration won’t separate families any more but the border security for undocumented immigrants will remain “very tough.”
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: REUTERS/Loren Elliott