“Either the government wasn’t thinking at all about how they were going to put these families back together, or they decided they just didn’t care,” said Natalia Cornelio, with the organization.
Government officials say they have given detained parents a flier with a toll-free number for the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the U.S. agency that is usually in charge of providing shelter for unaccompanied immigrant children. But not a single one of Goodwin’s clients had received one, she said. Lawyers maintain that when they have called the number, often no one answered. In some cases, when someone did pick up, that person refused to offer details of where children had been taken, the lawyers said.
“You wait and wait for no information,” said Jerry Wesevich, an attorney at Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid who is suing the government over the family separations.