The effort to reunite all separated im/migrant families continues despite the Trump administration’s obstructionism, leaving many children in federal custody, instead of being rejoined with their parents. The government’s racist “zero tolerance policy” denies entry to im/migrants from Central America at the Texas/Mexico border; it has resulted in confinement of 2,551 separated children.
In a interview with FSTV, Manoj Govindaiah, lawyer for Texas based legal assistance for immigrants, stated that his clients were re-separated from children in detention. He also stated that ICE prevented him from seeing his clients and denied him from consulting with any of his clients in detention. Govindaiah stated ICE would give a variety of reasons why he couldn’t speak with his clients including; “it’s not a good time”, “they can’t talk with anyone now”, “you need to come back later”, etc.
This weekend, about 60 protesters marched to the Kent County Correctional Facility, in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Saturday morning, demanding an end to the county’s contract with U.S. Immigration & Custom Enforcement (ICE).
Rally organizers say ICE pays Kent County $85/day for each person held for deportation, and in 2017 the county received $18,000 for 185 people detained for ICE, because they did not have legal proof of immigration status.
A global outcry forced the president to publicly withdraw the policy on June 20, as photographs of crying children, some in cages, circulated. Lacking any compassion, Trump gave his reason: the “optics” didn’t look good politically.
Despite Federal Judge Dana Sabraw’s June 26 order that all separated migrant children must be reunited with their parents by July 26, this did not happen. Addressing this crisis, the furious judge emphasized that “for every parent who is not located, there will be a permanently orphaned child, and that is 100 percent the responsibility of the administration.” (CNN, Aug. 3)
Government lawyers admitted that 559 children, aged 5 to 17, were still in U.S. custody on Aug. 9. Some 386 of their parents were already deported to their home countries; the rest are separated for other reasons. Finding the parents has been a herculean task because government officials and immigration agencies have been no help in reuniting families — and they had no plan to do so.