Action Alert: How You Can Help Separated Families
“The deported parents are kind of lost in the story. Not only were they separated, they were deported back to the country they fled. They haven’t seen their children in three years now, and there’s no clear pathway to get them back.”
– Carol Anne Donohoe, Attorney with Al Otro Lado
Right now more than 600 migrant children are still separated from their families. This cruel legacy is left behind by the Trump administration which tore more than 5,500 families apart in just 4 years.
Approximately 1,400 parents were ultimately deported without their children, and many of these parents are now back in Central America while their children remain in the United States. Hundreds of families are still caught up in this long, fraught chapter of U.S. immigration policy.
The Work to Reunite Children is Far From Over
Immigrant advocates are still searching for hundreds of parents, many of whom are unreachable, and hundreds more parents have been located but are still not reunited with their children.
The search for parents has been a painstaking process, in part because the previous administration did not keep track of where the parents went and contact information is often outdated or incomplete. The work to reunite families has also been hampered by hurricanes, the COVID-19 pandemic and bureaucracy. Much of the burden of finding families has been on nonprofits and lawyers coordinating across borders, particularly in Honduras and Guatemala, from where many of the separated families migrated.
Managing Family Reunifications
The Biden administration has launched a new task force to manage family reunifications on a case-by-case basis, making different immigration determinations for different families. The work to undo the damage of family separations must remain an urgent priority for the new administration and a task force on family separation is just the beginning. Join us in urging the Biden administration to commit to the following actions and consider signing the ACLU petition to reunite families now:
1. Find the missing parents and reunite all the families.
2. Ensure they can live in the United States together, free from detention and deportation.
3. Support a pathway to citizenship for all separated families.
4. Establish resources that include coverage of trauma-informed mental health services.
5. Make systemic changes to end family separations for good.
More Ways to Help:
Support Justice in Motion: Justice in Motion has mobilized an on-the-ground Defender Network of human rights lawyers and organizations across Mexico and Central America to collaborate with U.S. lawyers and help find the parents deported without their children.
Support Families Belong Together: Families Belong Together delivers help to the border to meet the immediate needs of children separated from parents — from providing legal support to mental health services.
Support Project Corazon: Project Corazon was created to help reunite families separated by the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy.
1. Why are so many migrant families still separated? – Unwinding the Trump administration’s immigration rules and reuniting families are very different things.
2. This Honduran lawyer reunites families separated at the US-Mexico border. It involves difficult road trips — and detective work. – The World