Sunday, January 20, 2019

House Democrats want to know the administration’s plan to reunite separated families

House Democrats on Tuesday demanded that the Trump administration provide its plan to reunify more than 500 undocumented children who remain separated from their parents as a result of the government’s zero-tolerance immigration policy.

“Since the Administration instituted and rescinded the zero-tolerance policy, which purposefully targeted and separated migrant children from their parents, we have yet to see the Administration present a cohesive, well-executed inter-agency plan or inter-governmental coordination with Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico to ensure that these children are reunited with their families,” the 20 House Democrats wrote in a letter addressed to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer and the 19 members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) had sent a similar letter in June calling for the administration to publish a plan to reunify more than 2,000 families separated as a result of Trump’s policy. In Tuesday’s letter, Democrats panned the administration’s response to their June missive.

“In fact, [HHS] Deputy Secretary [Eric] Hargan’s response to our June 26 letter demonstrated that the Administration was ill-equipped to answer the basic, factual questions posed in our letter, which resulted in the failure of many of these families being reunified and more than 400 parents deported without their children,” the lawmakers wrote.

Sessions announced the zero-tolerance policy in April, and in the following months more than 2,500 children were separated from their parents or guardians. A federal judge in California ordered the government to reunify families separated through the policy by July 26.

THE HILL