Psaki expects DHS nominee Mayorkas to head task force to reunite separated families

Psaki expects DHS nominee Mayorkas to head task force to reunite separated families
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White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiPsaki: 'Range' of proposals could help Biden meet climate goal Biden meets with Jayapal to kick off week of pivotal meetings The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Altria - Remembrances flow in after Powell's death MORE on Thursday night said she expects President Biden's nominee for Department of Homeland Security to head a task force dedicated to reunited families that have been separated at the border. 

During an interview with MSNBC's Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowRachel Maddow reveals she underwent surgery for skin cancer Rachel Maddow extends contract with MSNBC: reports OAN loses appeal in defamation lawsuit against Rachel Maddow MORE, the host asked Psaki about recent reports that both first lady Jill BidenJill BidenPresident, first lady honor teachers at White House awards ceremony Harris to campaign with McAuliffe in Virginia The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Altria - Remembrances flow in after Powell's death MORE and Alejandro MayorkasAlejandro MayorkasJohns Hopkins to launch degree program in cybersecurity and policy The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - New front in mandate wars; debt bill heads to Biden DHS to end workplace raids, shift focus to employers over undocumented workers MORE would play a part in the effort to reunite families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Biden, while on the campaign trail, has called the separation of families at the border during the Trump administration a "moral failing," and has vowed to institute a task force dedicated to reuniting children and parents. 

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"I would expect that that ... Mayorkas, who we expect will be confirmed soon, will be playing a prominent role leading this effort, overseeing it, of course, out of the Department of Homeland Security, and we'll have more to share soon about the members of the task force and how it will work as we look ahead to address this really horrific challenge," Psaki told Maddow.

Migrant children who came with their parents to the U.S. southern border starting in April 2018 were separated after the Trump administration implemented a "zero-tolerance" policy in which adults were criminally charged. 

The policy lead to more than 3,000 migrant family separations, according to a report from NBC News. Many of these families have yet to be reunited. 

Trump eventually ended the policy during his tenure. 

The Biden administration officially rescinded the "zero-tolerance policy" earlier this week, though the move was largely symbolic.

Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyState watchdog to launch review of Biden's Afghanistan withdrawal Juan Williams: Trump's toxicity fuels fear of violence Pentagon, State Department square off on Afghanistan accountability MORE (R-Mo.) had previously placed a roadblock in Mayorkas's confirmation in the Senate, expressing concerns about his planned immigration policies.

Other Senate Republicans, including Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyLawmakers pay tribute to Colin Powell Senate GOP signals they'll help bail out Biden's Fed chair Fill the Eastern District of Virginia  MORE (Iowa), have expressed concerns about a 2015 inspector general report indicating he intervened in some Citizenship and Immigration Services on behalf of Democrats during his tenure there.

However, Mayorkas's confirmation cleared a procedural hurdle with some Republican support Thursday, with the Senate voting 55-42 to advance the nomination. Mayorkas's formal confirmation vote is set for Monday.

Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden's Supreme Court commission ends not with a bang but a whimper Hispanic organizations call for Latino climate justice in reconciliation Senate to vote next week on Freedom to Vote Act MORE (D-N.Y.) blasted the hold Thursday, saying saying "because of the tactics of some Republican members, particularly the junior senator from Missouri, Mr. Mayorkas’s nomination is being needlessly stalled.”