US judges to address ongoing family separations

They have until this Thursday to come with a plan to reunite all children separated from their parents at the border, according to US district court judge Dana Sabraw.

Out of more than 2,500 children that should have been reunited with their parents, only 1,442 were reunited by the July 26th deadline.

The government admits that they are still trying to locate over 400 parents who were deported or let out of detention.

The Senate judiciary committee is holding a hearing on this controversial policy.

“The family separation policy is more than a bureaucratic lapse in judgment it is and was a cruel policy inconsistent with the bedrock values of this nation,” said Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin. “Someone in this administration has to accept responsibility. We can have border security without bullying, we can be safe without treating toddlers as terrorists.”

Annunciation House is one of four shelters for reunited families.

“It’s important to understand, if people do not understand, that the folks who have been released have not been released magically with ‘papers’, or something like that,” says legal coordinator Taylor Levy. “They’re all currently still in deportation proceedings, they’re all continuing to fight their cases, and their cases are quite complicated by the
fact that their children have been in separate immigration proceedings across the country.”

NYC is sending 16 lawyers and social workers to Texas to help those families.

“It’s gonna make a difference because right now it is a situation,” said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. “If someone doesn’t have a lawyer, someone seeking asylum or a parent trying to reunite with their child and they don’t have a lawyer, it’s not gonna happen.”

Cris Godinez, the lead attorney at the Migrant Center in New York City sees the ripple effect of the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy.

“The fear and the confusion is palpable… a lot of people come to us because they are afraid.”

The crisis at the US-Mexico border, Godinez says, ultimately affects us all.

“It’s not just what’s going on in Texas and Arizona, it is going on all over the country. Imean you don’t need to go and look that far from where we are right now to feel what’s going is not a good thing for America.”

Meanwhile, Judge Sabraw has not ruled on whether the government can immediately deport families once they are reunited.

Two weeks ago, he halted such deportations.

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