The Trump Administration Separates Immigrant Parents from Children – What you need to know
As you’ve no doubt heard, the Trump administration separates immigrant parents and children at the U.S.-Mexico border for six weeks under a “zero-tolerance” policy for illegal crossings. On June 20th, the president temporarily halted the separations with an Executive Order, but the situation is still highly unclear for the thousands of migrants currently in U.S. custody as well as those attempting to cross the border. Here’s what we know, as of today.
According to best estimates, the government has separated some 2,300 parents and children. The Department of Health and Human Services have taken charge of the children, placing them in detention centers around the country while immigration officials process the parents. The government has not yet put plans in place to reunite the children with their families, although a spokesperson for the Administration says that “reunification is the ultimate goal.” Reunification will be challenging, however, because the government has no consistent system for keeping track of the children in U.S. custody or finding their parents.
The Executive Order
The president’s Executive Order does not halt the zero-tolerance policy, but only purports to end family separation. In other words, the government will continue to prosecute people who illegally cross the border, but the government will not separate children from their migrant families. Instead, it aims to hold them indefinitely.
Detaining migrant families for an indefinite period is not legal under current law. A 1997 policy, known as the Flores settlement, authorizes the government to detain families for no more than 20 days before releasing them. Because of this, the Trump administration is expected to request the federal courts to modify the settlement, so that migrant families can be detained together for longer than 20 days. To learn more about family based immigration in the U.S. click here.
If you need help trying to locate or a child in U.S. custody or a loved one being detained, please immediately contact Zanes Law or call us at 844-666-8181 for a private consultation. Our experienced immigration attorneys work with compassion and tireless dedication to help you obtain the best possible result.
To learn more about immigration attorney Doug Zanes, please visit his personal injury website at zaneslaw.com.