DHS Secretary: Biden administration begins reuniting families separated by Trump border policies

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced today that four families separated by the Trump administration’s border security policies will be reunited this week. This announcement comes as the Biden administration is trying desperately to pin the border crisis on the former president’s administration.

Mayorkas calls this just the beginning of a broader effort to reunite families. You may remember that Joe Biden put Kamala Harris in charge of a reunification task force to lead the process of family reunification. In February, Biden signed an executive order to double the efforts by DHS working to reunite families separated as they illegally crossed into the United States.

Child separation from adults who bring them over the southern border is not something that began with the Trump administration. Biden knows this as he was vice-president when President Obama was abiding by immigration laws during his administration. The ‘kids in cages’ claims began during the Obama administration – Obama built the ‘cages’ at the border. The reason children are separated from adults who cannot prove that they are the parents or legal guardians of them is because of human trafficking. Coyotes and other nefarious adults bring children over the border for a fee. Business is booming during the Biden administration’s border crisis.

DHS Secretary Mayorkas is trying to change the subject away from the failures of the Biden administration to get the southern border under control. Announcing the reunification of four families seems like small potatoes if there is such a large amount of families that suffered separation because of the bad Orange Man’s policies on illegal immigration. Mayorkas claims that more than 5,000 children were separated during the Trump administration, beginning in 2017.

“The Family Reunification Task Force has been working day and night, across the federal government and with counsel for the families and our foreign partners, to address the prior administration’s cruel separation of children from their parents,” said Secretary Mayorkas, who serves as the Chair of the Task Force. “Today is just the beginning. We are reuniting the first group of families, many more will follow, and we recognize the importance of providing these families with the stability and resources they need to heal.”

In February, President Biden signed an Executive Order establishing the Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families (Task Force) to identify parents and children separated by the prior administration. The order directed the Task Force to implement comprehensive strategies that will bring families back together and ensure the families are provided support.

The Task Force has been working tirelessly to establish a complete database of separated families, correct inaccuracies in the files they were provided, and build the processes to find every family and give them the opportunity to reunite and heal. The Task Force is in the process of reviewing additional cases for reunification in the coming months. The Task Force’s initial report is due on June 2, 2021, and will provide a full update on the Task Force’s progress.

The DHS task force is coordinating with the Departments of State, Health and Human Services, and Justice. The narrative moving forward is that the Biden administration is so much more humane and compassionate than the Trump administration.

DHS has established a process for accepting parole requests and stands ready to process and receive families as they request to enter the U.S.

The Department of Health and Human Services is working on facilitating services to support harmed families.
The Department of State has developed a streamlined system for processing in-country requests for travel documents to enter the U.S.
The Department of Justice supports the Task Force in related settlement negotiation efforts.

While coordinating all these efforts, the Task Force is also exploring options for long term legal stability for reunified families and identifying and recommending policies to avoid repeating these unnecessary and cruel separations in the future. The Task Force has made critical progress in a short period of time, resulting in reunifications starting this week and many more in the weeks ahead.

In other words, parents will be brought back to the United States to reunite with their children instead of the children being taken back to them.

“We continue to work tirelessly to reunite many more children with their parents in the weeks and months ahead,” Mayorkas told reporters ahead of the announcement. “We have a lot of work still to do, but I am proud of the progress we have made and the reunifications that we have helped to achieve this week.”

Team Biden thinks that about 1,000 families remain separated. There is an unprecedented amount of children crossing the border during the current crisis, including unaccompanied minors. Adults know that once a child crosses the border, they will be allowed to stay. Now, with the incentive of bringing back the parents, this will likely spur on the number of children facing the dangers of human trafficking and drug cartels on the border. The leadership in the Biden administration can spin all it wants on how Biden “inherited” a badly broken system but the current numbers of unaccompanied minors are the effects of his own bad policies. He owns the humanitarian crisis on the southern border now. Meanwhile the question remains – where’s Kamala?