U.S. government reunites 522 children removed under 'zero tolerance'

Elias Hubbard
June 25, 2018

Now, after an executive order by President Donald Trump, the administration says it will continue with prosecutions and seek to detain families together during their immigration proceedings.

Father and son were reunited on Saturday, after five days apart, and were released into the US while Martinez pursues asylum.

'We need people to come in, but they have to be people that love this country, can love our country and can really help us to make America great again, ' he said.

In recent weeks, more than 2,300 children were taken from their families under a "zero-tolerance" policy in which people entering the USA illegally face prosecution.

Amid ongoing outrage about the Trump administration's handling of the separation of more than 2,000 immigrant children from their parents, the departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services issued guidance Saturday claiming the government is attempting to reunify the families. But it would not say whether any of them had been separated from their parents during recent crackdown at the border. Border patrol agents did not say where it was headed. DHS has not provided a detailed plan for how and when asylum seekers will be reunified.

The new details came after more than two months of confusion how detained migrant parents, who are shuttled from facility to facility run by different government agencies, would ever reunite with their children, who are sent to shelters and foster homes scattered across the country.

"When the family separation policy was implemented, there doesn't seem to have been any planning as to how parents were going to know where their children were, how children were going to know where their parents were, how they were going to be able to communicate and how they would be able to be reunited", Mark Greenberg, an expert at the Migration Policy Institute who previously worked for the HHS, told CNN.

Hundreds of protesters in Tornillo, Texas chanted "free the children" near the port of entry gates Sunday morning.

President Trump takes to Twitter to appeal to Democrats for their cooperation on border security.

The president pointed out the United States can not accept all of the people who are trying to break into the country. "When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came. Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy and Law and Order". But it has settled on a location for much of the activity: Port Isabel Service Processing Center, 20 miles northeast of Brownsville.

About 70 families arrived at the Catholic Charities' McAllen shelter late Saturday afternoon, and almost all were gone by the following day, boarding buses to cities across the U.S.

During a campaign-style speech Saturday night in Las Vegas, Trump said he believes he has a winning hand with his stand on immigration.

She says Immigration and Customs Enforcement has asked her for a list of names to assist in the process.

"They have a limit as to how much they can manage, and that's maybe a determining factor in how many are released that day", Pimentel said.

Levy says the group is working to locate the children and figure out if any are still in the El Paso area, but many may be elsewhere. She was not charged criminally and never separated from her children.

She was on a grueling monthlong bus trip through Mexico when she learned that families were being separated, but she made a decision to take her chances.

"I was already on the journey", she said as she waited for a bus to Los Angeles to join family. "Everything turned out OK walking with God".

Since Trump's order, protests have erupted around the country over the separations and the future of families arriving to the US illegally.

Twenty-three of them were recently separated from their families, and there are at least seven girls inside.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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