Problems arise in uniting immigrant parents, children
On July 23, the Trump administration filed papers in court relating to its separation of immigrant parents and their children. According to the papers, more than 800 parents have been reunited with their children. Reunification is supposed to be cleared for more than 500 more, some of whom may be in Texas. The cases of another 463 parents are being reviewed.
The 463 are among a total of more than 900 whose eligibility for a reunion is unclear. Some parents have been deported or may have issues such as criminal records or communicable diseases. However, the American Civil Liberties Union is asking for more information on parents with criminal records to ensure that it is genuinely in the best interests of the child that the reunion does not happen.
In the past, immigrants who crossed the border at points of entry that were unofficial were returned to their home country with their children. The Trump administration changed the policy so that the children were separated from their parents, but a federal judge ruled this might violate immigrants’ rights. The Trump administration missed a deadline to reunite children and parents. In addition, there is conflict between the ACLU and the administration over the political asylum process and claims that immigrants were pressured to give up their rights to asylum with promises they would be reunited with their children.
Immigration law has always been complex. This remains the case with new issues around this separation policy, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and other immigration rules. There are elements of immigration law that may be unclear or subject to change. People who have questions about or problems with these policies, who are facing deportation or who have other immigration issues or family members with these issues may want to talk to an attorney.
Source: USA Today, “Are immigrant family reunions likely? 463 parents may have been deported without kids“, John Bacon, July 25, 2018