The Biden administration will allow immigrant families separated while former-President Donald Trump was in office to be reunited and stay in the United States, announced the Homeland Security Secretary during a press conference on Monday, March 1, 2021.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is head of Biden’s family reunification task force. Their goal is to reunite families, either in the U.S. or in their country of origin. Mayorkas states they would like to be able to give the immigrants the option.
And if, in fact, they seek to reunite here in the United States, we will explore lawful pathways for them to remain in the United States, and to address the family needs.
He adds, the Biden administration wants to be as restorative as possible.
So far, the task force has reconnected a small portion of those separated while Trump was in office. His administration pulled apart about 2,800 families in 2018. Five hundred children remained imprisoned when Biden took office. Thus far, the task force has reunited 120 families.
The Hill reports that immigration advocates want Biden to do more than reunification. They contend his administration should compensate the families for their suffering under the former president.
American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Anthony Romero praised the announcement Secretary Mayorkas made and voiced displeasure about the lack of details offered. He wants the Biden team to do everything they can to compensate the immigrant families for what they suffered due to Trump’s zero-tolerance policy.
“We are going to be discussing what we can do under the law because remember, we must address the needs of each family member in an individualized way, each family unit in an individualized way, in accordance with the law,” Mayorkas said.
“Our overarching goal is, of course, to be as humane as the law provides, to be as restorative as the law enables us to be to bring justice to these families.”
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
The Hill: Biden admin will allow families separated under Trump to remain in US; by Rebecca Beitsch
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Inset Image Courtesy of Charles Edward Miller’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License