DHS wants to offer permanent solutions for separated immigrant families
On Sunday, October 10, DHS (Department of Homeland Security) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas stated that he hopes to be able to offer legalization and permanent protection to immigrant families separated at the borders under the Trump administration.
To understand the issue at hand, it is important to explain that the Trump administration implemented a series of border policies and rules that affected thousands of immigrants; but one of them, the so-called Zero Tolerance Policy, led to the separation of hundreds of immigrant minors from their parents.
As a result, the Biden administration has had to face, along with several humanitarian organizations, the titanic task of locating parents deported to remote areas of Central America under the Trump administration in order to reunite them with their children.
Regarding this humanitarian conflict, Mayorkas stated, “We are hoping for legislation to grant them legal status, and give them that stability, that sort of permanence that they need to really rebuild their lives as families”.
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The immigration policy that led to the separation of thousands of families
To implement the Zero Tolerance policy, the Trump administration initially conducted a secret pilot program in 2017 and officially announced its implementation in early 2018. Although this policy was active for only about six months, its repercussions were truly alarming.
Broadly speaking, this rule states that immigrants who enter the country without legal documentation must face criminal prosecution and, naturally, people who arrived with minors while this policy was active were separated from them.
As a result, this rule led to the separation of more than 1,000 minors from their parents, and hundreds of them have still not been able to reunite as families after more than 4 years.
Regarding this policy, the DHS Secretary stated, “It’s a marriage of cruelty and shambles of organizational work, I don’t know how to put it more bluntly than that”.
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Biden: The US must help immigrant families
The Biden administration has always emphasized that the country has a duty to provide benefits to immigrant families separated in the border territory under Trump’s Zero Tolerance policy.
In fact, in February 2021, Biden ordered his team to create a task force to locate and reunite immigrant families, as well as create routes of action to offer them permanent solutions, psychological and medical assistance, and help them build their future in the US.
Since then, the Family Reunification Task Force has worked tirelessly to locate immigrant parents and improve the situation for them.
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