Advocates and attorneys claim that President Biden’s efforts to undo one of the more controversial policies of former President Donald Trump’s administration – family separations at the border – might be his thorniest problem, reports USA Today. Biden called Trump’s policy of separating children – some who were infants – from parents and other relatives who crossed into the U.S. without permission a “moral failing” and promised to immediately end the prosecution of parents for minor immigration violations that led to the separations. Biden has also vowed to form a task force to help reunite the more than 600 parents who remain separated from their children and whose whereabouts are unknown. Executive orders specific to that policy are expected next week, but it may take time to fully stop border agents from separating families.
Two and a half years after the policy was banned, more than 600 families remain separated and the parents’ whereabouts unknown, according to court filings. Of those, more than 300 were deported and have been difficult to locate. Biden officials should allow the deported parents back into the U.S. to reunite with their children, focus less on helping agencies find the missing parents, and consider offering a pathway to citizenship to the thousands of families who endured the trauma of being separated, said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, which filed the federal lawsuit to stop the family separation policy and force the Trump administration to reunite families. That litigation is ongoing. “Given what the 5,500 families have been through, they deserve to be reunited and given safe refuge in the United States,” Gelernt said. “We owe that to these families.”