Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Friday, October 15, 2021

Families Separated by Trump Administration at the Border Still Waiting For Reunification

From CBS 60 Minutes:

It's been 35 years since Congress last passed a sweeping overhaul of the immigration system. So, president after president has careened from crisis to crisis at the border. President Biden is no different.

His administration is struggling to deal with one of the largest surges of migrants at the southern border in 20 years while, at the same time, trying to clean up another immigration mess you might think was already fixed.  

Michelle Brane leads the family reunification task force formed by President Biden in the first weeks of his presidency. Four federal agencies are working on it, but despite their power and reach, in seven months, they've only reunited 52 families.

Michelle Brane: We estimate that over 1,000, somewhere between 1,000, 1,500 maybe more remain separated. It's very hard to know because there's no record.

A federal investigation described the government's record-keeping during child separations as "ad-hoc."   One border station "used a basic whiteboard" to keep track of the children. Phone numbers, addresses and names for parents were missing. The federal judge who ordered the U.S. government in 2018 to reunite the families wrote, "migrant children are not accounted for with the same efficiency and accuracy as property."

Read more here.

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