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Is there a plan to reunite separated migrant children with their parents?

July 13th, 2018

Nancy Casciato

June 22, 2018

There is no specific road map to guide the implementation of President Trump’s executive order reversing the policy of separating parents and children at the border, so advocates for these parents and children must grapple with a level of confusion that Jack Healy, reporting in a front-page story in the NYTimes (“Rules Shifted, But Reunions Are Uncertain,” 6/22/2018),  explains this way:  “Across the country, immigration lawyers said they were slogging through confusion, bureaucracy and secrecy as they tried to locate children,” and “many were tapping private social media networks to find social workers who might know their clients’ children.”  Their search for information about the location of separated children and their parents resulted in “asking colleagues in other cities to search immigration court dockets for the name of a child’s parent” and “preparing legal complaints to force the release of children being held by the government.”  As Healy’s report suggests, the big picture of this crisis continues to be that there is no big picture; because the Trump policy to separate children from their parents was put into practice without a plan to track the whereabouts of either group, and because there remains confusion within the Trump Administration itself about the meaning and the way forward when it come to the new executive order, the reuniting of these families remains, at best, precarious.

In addition to this report, one might also glean a better understanding of the scope of the project to bring parents and children back together by listening to this interview by NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly with John Sandweg, who served as acting director of ICE under the Obama administration:

https://www.npr.org/2018/06/21/622361883/former-ice-director-says-some-migrant-family-separations-could-be-permanent