Published on

Amid Chaos and Suffering of Family Separation, Senators Demand Answers on 2,300 Imprisoned Children

"The 'zero-tolerance' policy that tore these families apart was implemented with no plan whatsoever for how to bring them back together again," said Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Demonstrators protest against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Trump administration's immigration policies at Daley Plaza, June 30, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Thousands of people held signs and yelled slogans to show their support for immigrant families who have been separated by ICE at detention centers along the U.S. and Mexico border. (Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

With an estimated 2,300 children still in U.S. government detention facilities after being separated from their families by the Trump administration, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) spearheaded a letter signed by Senate Democrats and sent to federal agencies on Monday demanding answers about the fate of those children and what the plan is for ending their incarceration and reuniting them with their loved ones.

"The Trump Administration ripped over 2,300 kids from their parents and scattered them across the country," Warren wrote in an email to the Huffington Post. "This administration owes us clear answers on how they will reunite the families they tore apart."

In the letter, the lawmakers said they are "deeply concerned by reports of chaotic attempts to reunify parents and children" and demanded both answers and action from the agencies are the heart of the administration's cruel "zero tolerance" border policy.

According to the post:

The letter asks the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services to respond by July 6 and provide the senators with anonymous identification numbers linking all the children and parents who were separated. They also want to know how long families have been apart, if parents have been contacted about where their children are, and whether separated families remain in government facilities, have been released or have been deported. Lastly, the senators ask for weekly briefings from DHS and HHS officials on their efforts to reunite families.

Last week, a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to end its family separation policy and reunite children with their families, family members, or custodians within 30 days. According to Warren, however, too little has been done to end the needless suffering of children and their families.

"This is an urgent matter. Hundreds of children are separated from their families, suffering untold distress," Warren declared. She added, "The 'zero-tolerance' policy that tore these families apart was implemented with no plan whatsoever for how to bring them back together again."

After hundreds of thousands of Americans rallied on Satuday to condemn the Trump administration's policy in cities nationwide, Warren issued this tweet on Monday after visiting detention facilities last week:

Anecdotally, the stories of separated families continue to create heartbreak nationwide:

Late Sunday, the New York Times reported on how families and sponsors trying to get children out of government detention continue to face financially burdensome fees and red tape that are thwarting and delaying their efforts.

"The government is creating impossible barriers and penalizing poverty," Neha Desai, director of immigration at the National Center for Youth Law in Oakland, told the Times.

On Monday afternoon, immigrant rights groups and child safety advocates pushed the #Reunitethe2300 hashtag on social media as a way to keep up the political pressure:

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

Share This Article