The announcement was a monumental victory for families and their lawyers, who had pressured the Biden administration to allow parents to reunite in the US if they so wished (some families may want to reunite in their home countries reunite). While President Biden had agreed to create a task force to reunite separated families as a candidate for the 2020 presidential race, he had not said whether they could reunite here.
“We applaud Secretary Mayorkas’ commitment to eradicating the torture and abuse of families separated from their children in immigration proceedings.” Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Anthony D. Romero said. The organization is one of the local groups working to find parents. “Of course the devil is in the details and Secretary Mayorkas has to put aside all reservations and qualifications surrounding his announcement and do whatever it takes to correct the wrong thing.”
The Task Force’s policy statement stated that in addition to the option of reunification in the United States, the administration would enter into partnership Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector help families with transportation, psychiatric and legal services, with the cost being “borne by the government, NGOs and the private sector – and never by families” whenever possible.
In addition, the task force said: “[r]Union Efforts will be “broad” and include additional family members of children separated for reunion. “The task force will identify and implement long-term reform efforts to ensure that non-child best-interests family segregations do not recur,” the statement said.
While lawyers have found The parents of another 105 children since last month, hundreds of parents yet to be traced as the previous government quickly deported them. During an appearance on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show, Romero emphasized the need to hold previous government officials accountable. “If we don’t hold criminals accountable, what is the rule of law?” he asked.
Absolutely critical and still unanswered question on the Biden administrator’s response to Trump’s policy of family segregation from @maddow tonight: Will there be accountability? @AnthonyACLU: “If we don’t hold criminals accountable, what is the rule of law?” pic.twitter.com/Uj1VWUUOwq
– Jacob Soboroff (@jacobsoboroff) March 2, 2021
In a joint statement welcoming the task force’s announcement that separated families would be able to reunite in the United States if they so choose, Texan MP Joaquin Castro said and Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal urged the passage of their Family Membership Act, which they introduced in 2019, which would put all separated families on the path to citizenship.
“The administration is doing its part,” they said in their joint statement. “Now it is up to Congress to pass our bicameral law to give the victims of the indescribable zero tolerance policy of the Trump administration permanent legal status. This legislative move is necessary to ensure that all separated families can be reunited here in the United States. Our laws must reflect our values: families belong together. “
In his statement, Romero described permanent relief as essential. “The United States has a positive obligation to reunite the separated families here, if it so wishes, to provide these families with an avenue to citizenship and to end the trauma and torture that these children and parents have endured. ” he said. “These separated families have suffered profoundly from what our government has done, and we owe them reparations. This includes a permanent path to citizenship, care and resources to help them. “