U.S. government still working to reunite 2,053 children with families

Vastavam web: The U.S. government still has 2,053 children in its custody who were separated from their parents under President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy and officials said there was a “well coordinated” process for reuniting families. The Department of Homeland Security issued a fact sheet late on Saturday in the face of criticism from lawyers for parents and children who have said they have seen little evidence of an organized system.

A total of 522 children in the custody of U.S. border officials have already been reunited with parents, according to the fact sheet, which was published three days after Trump ended his policy of separating families on the U.S.-Mexico border. On Sunday, Trump renewed his hardline on immigration calling for people who enter the United States illegally to be sent back to where they came from immediately without any judicial process.

An administration official said on Sunday 522 children were able to be reunited because their parents came back from court proceedings quickly enough that the children had not yet been transferred to the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services, where the more than 2,000 children who remain separated from their parents are now. The new details came after more than two months of confusion how detained migrant parents, who are shuttled from facility to facility run by different government agencies, would ever reunite with their children, who are sent to shelters and foster homes scattered across the country.

The DHS said the Trump administration has a process for how parents would be reunited with their children “for the purposes of removal,” or deportation. Deportation proceedings could take months to complete, and the fact sheet did not say whether parents and children would be reunited in the intervening time.