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Offbeat Administration will not reunite any children with parents in custody, Cabinet secretary says

01:47  27 june  2018
01:47  27 june  2018 Source:   latimes.com

Immigrant parents are writing their contact information on children's clothing

  Immigrant parents are writing their contact information on children's clothing Some immigrant children have arrived to refugee resettlement care with their parents' contact information hastily written on their clothes. In one case, a child came holding his father's belt, which had a name and phone number written inside it. In other cases, the parents have taught the children a rhyme to remember contact information. Dona Abbott, Grand Rapids, Michigan, branch director of refugee services for Bethany Christian Services, described a resettlement process thrust into turmoil amid the Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy toward undocumented immigrants.

The administration will reunite children with their parents quickly only if the parents drop days, his agency would not place any of the children with parents who are in those facilities, Azar said . "If the parent remains in detention, unfortunately, under rules that are set by Congress and the courts

The Trump administration will not be reuniting migrant children with parents who are being held in detention facilities, a cabinet secretary has said . Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday that the administration will only reunite separated

Children wait at the Paso Del Norte Port of Entry, in the US-Mexico border in Chihuahua State, Mexico on June 20, 2018. - US President Donald Trump said Wednesday he would sign an executive order to keep migrant families together at the border with Mexico, amid an escalating uproar over the separation of children from their parents. (Photo by HERIKA MARTINEZ / AFP)        (Photo credit should read HERIKA MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images) © Getty Children wait at the Paso Del Norte Port of Entry, in the US-Mexico border in Chihuahua State, Mexico on June 20, 2018. - US President Donald Trump said Wednesday he would sign an executive order to keep migrant families together at the border with Mexico, amid an escalating uproar over the separation of children from their parents. (Photo by HERIKA MARTINEZ / AFP) (Photo credit should read HERIKA MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

The Trump administration will not reunite any migrant children with parents still held in immigrant detention facilities unless current federal law changes first, a top administration official told Congress on Tuesday.

Schiff: Nielsen privately said family separations could resume

  Schiff: Nielsen privately said family separations could resume Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Thursday said that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has privately told lawmakers that the Trump administration's family separation practice could resume despite the president signing an executive order to end the practice.In a tweet, the California Democrat wrote that he was urging members of the House Appropriations Committee to ensure that no funding would be made available if the policy is r estarted."Secretary Nielsen privately told lawmakers the Administration may go back to separating children from their parents," Schiff tweeted."Congress must ensure that NEVER happens.

Children have been detained in shelters far from their parents , many of whom were also detained “These parents are responsible for their own children ,” he said . “Many of these determinations we They have already paid nearly 0,000 in bonds for roughly 18 people who are in custody with the

reunite any migrant children with parents still held in immigrant detention facilities unless current federal law changes first, a top administration in immigrant detention facilities for no more than 20 days, Azar’s agency would not place any of the children with parents who are in those facilities, he

The statement by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, whose agency currently has custody of 2.047 children separated from their parents after being apprehended crossing the border illegally, confirmed what immigrant advocates have feared: The administration will reunite children with their parents quickly only if the parents drop their claims for asylum in the U.S. and agree to be deported.

Under administration policy, immigrants claiming asylum are held in detention awaiting a hearing — a process that can often take months or years. Because current law only allows children to be held in immigrant detention facilities for 20 days, his agency would not place any of the children with parents who are in those facilities, Azar said.

U.S. says still working to reunite 2,053 children with families

  U.S. says still working to reunite 2,053 children with families The U.S. government said it still had 2,053 children in its custody who were separated from their parents under President Donald Trump's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, and set out its most detailed plans yet on how it would reunite families.The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said late on Saturday it had a "well coordinated" process in place - in the face of criticism from lawyers for parents and children who have said they have seen little evidence of an organized system.

The Trump administration will not reunite children with their migrant parents until after they are released from federal immigration custody — either because they are being deported or they are allowed to remain in the U.S while seeking asylum or some other immigration relief, a top official told

Fabian said officials should have no problem reuniting children and parents who remain in custody . But it's more challenging to reunite kids with parents who've been released from ICE custody , she said . "If we're not aware of where the parent is, I can't commit to saying that reunification will occur

"If the parent remains in detention, unfortunately, under rules that are set by Congress and the courts, they can't be reunified while they're in detention," Azar said.

The agency could place children with other relatives in the United States if they can be located and properly vetted, he told the Senate Finance Committee.

The administration has asked a federal court to change that 20-day limit and has also asked Congress to change federal law.

Trump signed an executive order last week intended to halt the separation of parents and children by detaining families together. Since then, his administration has struggled to articulate a plan to reunite families or determine what effect doing so would have on enforcement, given the limited bed space for families.

Over the weekend, the Department of Homeland Security and the Health and Human Services released a statement saying they had come up with a central database to link families and were working on ensuring children stayed in contact with their parents.

Democrats pepper HHS secretary on reuniting migrant families

  Democrats pepper HHS secretary on reuniting migrant families Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says his department still has custody of 2,047 migrant children who were separated from their parents because of the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy at the southwest border. That's only six fewer children in total than the 2,053 HHS had previously reported as of Wednesday of last week.Azar didn't say whether in the meantime additional children had been transferred to HHS.That's nowhere near enough progress, said Democratic senators questioning the health chief.

The pool of children separated is relatively small compared to many other disasters, such as the HHS has borne the brunt of the reunification demands since the children are in their custody . Tuesday, the Trump administration is supposed to reunite children younger than 5 with their parents .

Records linking children to their parents have disappeared, and in some cases have been destroyed, according to two officials of the Department of Homeland The agency said it needed to read through original documents of all children in federal custody “to screen whether children in our facilities were

John Thune wearing a suit and tie: FILE PHOTO: Senator Thune questions Alex Azar II as he testifies on his nomination to be Health and Human Services secretary in Washington © REUTERS/Joshua Roberts FILE PHOTO: Senator Thune questions Alex Azar II as he testifies on his nomination to be Health and Human Services secretary in Washington On a conference call with reporters Tuesday, HHS officials refused to say whether they were still receiving children taken from parents at the border.

The agencies also have not released data on the ages of children, nor how many total have been separated or released.

Office of Refugee Resettlement Commander Jonathan White said only that the department was working with other agencies "to facilitate reunification with a child as soon as that is practical."

He suggested the department's sole responsibility for now "is to determine whether the child has a safe place to go."

DNA testing being done on separated migrant children and parents, official says .
DNA testing is being conducted as part of the process to reunite children who were separated from their parents at the border, a federal official with knowledge of the reunifications told CNN. "The safety and security is paramount and that it is not uncommon for children to be trafficked or smuggled by those claiming to be parents. To our knowledge this is a cheek swab and is being done to expedite parental verification and ensuring reunification with verified parents due to child welfare concerns," the official said.

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