The Trump Administration wants the American people to believe it is working in good faith to reunite the families it tore apart capriciously nearly two months ago. In highlighting that the government has partly complied with a court order to reunite 57 out of 103 children under the age of 5 with their parents, the Trump Administration fails to state the obvious: It still must reunite more than 2,000 other children it has kidnapped from their parents.
The Administration’s actions are suspect because it has consistently labeled immigrants as the worst of the worst. According to DHS, almost half of the children under 5 ordered by the court to be returned have unfit parents. CHIRLA is asking the courts to order thorough verification of the factors that make these parents in fact unable to receive and care for their children. CHIRLA also demands no additional parent be deported as this worsens the possibilities a child will be reunited with them promptly.
The maliciousness of this Administration and the carelessness by which it handled this separation of families must compel the courts to demand the U.S. government describe how it plans to reunite the more than 2,000 remaining children by the July 26, 2018 deadline. The Trump Administration has lied to the American people repeatedly as it tried to clean its hands off this mess it created and we must be cautious and circumspect about what they say and do.
This painful crisis has solutions: the rights of asylum seekers must be respected, the ‘zero humanity’ policies of the Trump Administration must end, parents must not be charged with a federal crime, construction of mass detention facilities must stop, and no more children should be taken from their parents. The U.S. must understand it is not above the law.