The government told a Federal judge in court yesterday that volunteers and non-profit groups should take the lead in finding more than 400 immigrant parents who were separated from their children at the Mexico border and deported from the United States.
During a lawsuit hearing in a San Francisco federal court, the proposal was made regarding the close to 3,000 family separations started by the Trump administration in an attempt to get the illegal immigration problem of the U.S. under control. In the case, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, Judge Dana Sabraw ordered the government to reunify the families by July 26, but that deadline was not met.
According to the government, almost 2,000 children were reunited with their families, but hundreds more remain separated, including the children of more than 400 parents no longer in the United States.
The ACLU has repeatedly said that it would assist with efforts to find the deported parents, but the group made clear in yesterday’s filing that it expected the U.S. government to take on the ultimate responsibility of locating them. The ACLU noted that the government seemed not to have addresses for some 120 of the deported parents. Government lawyers said they would need until Aug. 10 to go through the files of the children of those parents to find information that could help in the search.
Most of the removed parents were returned to their home countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
The Trump administration ended the family separations in June after repeated backlash from citizens and government agencies alike. Yesterday, President Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump criticized the family separations, calling it a “low Point” in the Trump presidency.