In 2017, at least 1,000 parents were separated from their children at the border due to the Trump administration’s inhumane immigration protocol, according to data provided by the Department of Homeland Security. About two-thirds of those parents were deported back to their Central American countries of origin without their children in tow. The minors were left in a foreign land under horrible confinement including cages, limited access to nutrient-dense food or clean water. Horrifically, many of the separated children have endured sexual violence and several have died in custody.
A federal judge finally ordered that the government find the migrant parents and reunite the families. According to the filing on Tuesday (Oct 20) from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), lawyers have confirmed that they’ve been unable to locate the parents of 545 of the children who were forcibly separated from their guardians at the Mexican-American border. The ACLU and other pro-bono legal organizations were able to contact the parents of 550 children, but only 25 of them may be able to return to the States to reunite with their offspring. Justice in Motion is assisting in the search for the separated parents with efforts on the ground in Mexico and Central America.
The 2017 separations were part of a pilot program for the zero-tolerance immigration policy the Trump administration put in place in 2018 that allowed for the separation of migrant children from their parents at the southern U.S. border. That year, 2,800 families were separated. The ACLU successfully sued the government and an executive order was placed to end the despicable policy.
The families that were separated in 2017 before the zero-tolerance program was launched weren’t covered by the court order. Three years have passed since their children were taken from them. Reunification has not been possible for many families who are still separated from young children who haven’t seen their parents in years.
Help reunite families by making a monetary donation to Immigrant Families Together, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to reuniting immigrant families separated at the border.