545 Children Separated At U.S.-Mexico Border, Parents Can’t Be Found

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Even though a federal judge ordered the government to reunite families who were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border under the Trump administration’s “no tolerance” migration policy, the parents of 545 children still can’t be found, according to a court document filed Tuesday by the U.S. Justice Department and the ACLU. 

Before the Trump administration ended the practice in 2018, thousands of families were separated under the policy. 

The ACLU successfully sued the government, winning a court order to reunite families and thousands of parents and children were reunited within weeks. 

However, about 1,000 families who had been separated in a pilot program in 2017 were not covered by the initial court order. Reunification of this group was ordered only last year. Unfortunately, the passage of time has made finding both parents and children more difficult. 

“What has happened is horrific,” says Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, who has been leading the litigation. “Some of these children were just babies when they were separated. Some of these children may now have been separated for more than half their lives. Almost their whole life, they have not been with their parents.”