Offbeat Thousands of kids still haven't been reunited with their parents
Migrant kids could end up in already strained foster system
Foster care advocates say the government won't likely be able to reunite thousands of children separated from parents who crossed the border illegally, and some will end up in an American foster care system that is stacked against Latinos and other minorities. With few Spanish-speaking caseworkers, it's a challenge tracking down family members of the children who live south of the U.S.-Mexico border, and other relatives living in the states might be afraid to step forward to claim them because of fears of being detained or deported themselves.
Where are the children? And what's taking so long?
Judge's demand that children be reunited with migrant parents sets stage for new immigration showdown
A San Diego federal judge has given the Trump administration a tight timeline to reunite children separated from their parents at the border, setting up another showdown in immigration policy. What did the judge rule?
That was the rallying cry at protests across the United States on Thursday as a growing chorus of activists and attorneys accused the Trump administration of taking too long to reunite immigrant families.
It's been more than a week since President Donald Trump signed, and days since and reunite families that had been divided.
But since then,from custody, according to .
Devastated parents. Officials are and have yet to release details about how families will be reunited.
Immigrant minor distraught over family separation is prescribed antidepressants in U.S. shelter, lawsuit alleges
Federal suit claims violations of minors’ constitutional rights, saying the government is causing “grave harm to children detained for alleged civil violations” of crossing the border. Lucas R. is the pseudonym that attorneys assigned to the 12-year-old from Guatemala detained in February.In his case, the suit alleges the boy was placed in Hacienda del Sol, a shelter in Arizona run by the government contractor Southwest Key. When he first arrived, the lawsuit says, staff noted that Lucas “appeared cooperative, calm, and alert, and showed ‘no behavioral concerns.
Immigration attorneys and rights groups say that's because officials still don't have a plan to solve a crisis the government created.
"All we get is bureaucratic doublespeak, indifference and excuse-making," said Frank Sharry, executive director of the immigration advocacy group America's Voice.
As of Monday, 2,047 immigrant children who had been separated from their parents remained in government custody, according to the latest figures released by the Department of Health & Human Services.
An agency spokesman declined to provide an updated figure on Thursday, saying officials would only provide the total number of immigrant children in custody. That figure, 11,869, includes both children who crossed the border alone and kids who were separated from their parents.
On Tuesday, HHS officials told reporters they were working on reunifying children and parents as soon as practicable.
Protests planned nationwide over Trump immigration policy
Organizers say they're heartened that many first-time protesters are planning to join seasoned anti-Trump demonstrators at immigration rallies in hundreds of cities nationwide Saturday. Melania Trump arrives to meet with doctors and social workers at the Upbring New Hope Childrens Center operated by Lutheran Social Services of the South on June 21 in McAllen, Texas.
"We have always known where the children are," said Commander Jonathan White, assistant secretary of preparedness and response. Officials are working on facilitating communication between parents and kids, he said, and linking records between different government systems.
The clock is ticking. A judge's ruling Monday laid out a series of deadlines the government must meet:
• Within 10 days (by July 6), officials must make sure every separated parent has a way to contact their child.
• Within 14 days (by July 10), children under 5 must be reunited with their parents
• Within 30 days (by July 26), all children must be reunited with their parents.
"The United States government has more than enough resources to get this job done as long as it treats it as an urgent priority," said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU's immigrant rights' project.
And in most cases, Gelernt said, the reunifications should be able to happen before the deadline.
"Up until now, the reason the reunifications haven't occurred swiftly is because there was no plan or intention to do so," he said. "We'll see how long it takes now that the court has ordered them to do it."
Parents and Children Remain Separated by Miles and Bureaucracy
More than 2,000 children remain scattered across the country, including 300 in New York, with no clear path to reunification with their parents.Yeni González emerged into the warm evening air in Eloy, Ariz., her hair braided by the other women in the detention center. We’re braiding up all your strength, they had told her in Spanish. You can do it.
Gelernt, the lead attorney in, says the reason it's urgent is clear:
"There are little children who are being traumatized every day they're separated from their parents, crying themselves to sleep, wondering whether they're ever going to see their parents again," he said.
Across the country, advocacy organizations and lawyers are sharing stories of parents who are desperately trying to find, reach and reunite with their children.
Man arrested after shouting ‘womp, womp’ and pulling a gun on immigration protesters
The armed counterprotester was chased across the park by the people he'd threatened.Demonstrators attend a march and rally on June 30 outside the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility in Los Angeles, California against the separation of immigrant families.
"It's a nightmare scenario," said Michelle Lapointe, acting deputy legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The organization is working to help about 20 men held at the Stewart Detention Center in southern Georgia reunite with their children.
"Some have had no communication and don't even know where their children are," she said.
Others have phone numbers of social workers and have been able to make some contact. But each call gets met with a different response, Lapointe said.
"There's just no system. There's no one standard way of getting this information about their children to men who remain in ICE custody," she said. "It's incredibly difficult and it's incredibly demoralizing for them, and I can't even imagine for the children."
Even parents who've tracked down their kids are having trouble getting officials to release them, some attorneys allege, claiming the process isn't clear and rules keep changing.
"It's a seemingly constantly moving goalpost," attorney Britt Miller told reporters in Chicago on Thursday, standing beside a client who's suing the government to reunite with her son. "When she first came into the country, it was you're going to be released, and here's the 800-number to find your child. The 800 number got her nowhere. She independently found out and discovered where her child was, because the 800-number that they gave her, no one answered."
Natalia Cornelio, attorney and director of criminal justice reform for the Texas Civil Rights Project, told CNN this week that so far she hasn't seen any sense of urgency from Trump administration officials.
"The government began this process of separation with no plan, no plan for reunification, also no systems in place to track the parents and children and to ensure that communication happens between them," she said.
Without a clear plan in place, she said, it will be interesting to see how quickly officials respond with the judge's order -- or whether they appeal it.
"We just have to wait and see," she said, "but I do have hope I hadn't had before."
CNN's Tal Kopan, Nick Valencia and Christina Zdanowicz contributed to this report.
Congressman denied entry to California child detention facility .
California Republican Rep. Jeff Denham knocked on the door of a small child detention facility in the suburbs of San Francisco on Monday, but left disappointed. Demonstrators attend a march and rally on June 30 outside the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility in Los Angeles, California against the separation of immigrant families.
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