The United States government has concluded plans to reunite four migrant families who were separated during Trump administration, this week, as part of President Biden’s effort to make amends to parents and children affected by a policy he said was “callous”.
According to Homeland Security secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, said Biden administration would allow a small group of parents to enter the US legally this week to reunite with their children, who have been living in the US since their forced separations. He noted the policy that led to families’ separation was a “tragedy”.
“The first families reuniting this week to their mothers. They are sons. They are daughters. They are children who were three years old at the time of separation. They are teenagers who have had to live without their parents, during their formative years,” Mayorkas said.
Among them are two mothers from Mexico and Honduras who have not seen their children, since late 2017.
This would be the first reunification in the United States, under Mr Biden.
Lee Gelernt, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawyer representing separated families in a federal court care, told CBS News, “We are very excited that parents will finally be able to hug their children after years of forced separation.
“But, we are not about to celebrate given that there are thousands of families who need help.”
Nevertheless, more than 1500 migrant families were separated in late 2017, and early 2018. Also, about 2800 migrant families were separated in spring 2018, when Trump administration implemented its “zero tolerance” border crackdown across the entire US – Mexico border.
Parents were generally prosecuted for crossing the border illegally, while their children were incorrectly designated as unaccompanied minors and sent to government overseen shelters.
Mayorkas, on Sunday said the task force was committed in reuniting “many more” families in the coming months.
Ijeoma Njoku reporting, Obinwannem News