Dem lawmakers request briefing on reuniting immigrant families

Dem lawmakers request briefing on reuniting immigrant families
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A group of House Democrats is asking for a briefing from Trump administration officials over the government's plan to promptly reconnect children separated at the border with their families.

BuzzFeed News reported Wednesday that nearly 80 Democrats wrote to Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage House gears up for Mueller testimony Trump's no racist — he's an equal opportunity offender MORE, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenTrump quietly rolled back programs to detect, combat weapons of mass destruction: report Trump's family separation policy has taken US to 'lowest depth possible,' says former immigration lawyer Four heated moments from House hearing on conditions at border facilities MORE and immigration officials to request additional information.

Rep. Jared PolisJared Schutz PolisColorado governor pokes fun at FaceApp Number of openly LGBTQ elected officials rose nearly 25 percent since 2018: report GOP gun rights activist arrested for flashing handgun at U.S. marshal MORE (D-Colo.) told the news outlet that Democrats have been "stonewalled" in their efforts to learn more about how migrant families will be reunited.


"The failure of these agencies to provide the public, parents that have been detained, attorneys representing detained children and adults and Congressional offices meaningful information is unacceptable," the lawmakers wrote.

Wednesday's letter follows one sent Tuesday to Sessions, Nielsen and Azar to express concerns over the fate of families separated under the administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy.

“As the administration seeks to quell the uproar created by this inhumane policy, we expect your departments will take every step necessary to reunite these children with their parents as quickly as possible,” the lawmakers wrote.

“Early reports suggest that the departments and agencies detaining these children do not have current contact information for the vast majority of parents, which is deeply alarming and presents a significant obstacle in ensuring the timely reunification of families,” they added. 

The lawmakers requested a “lead federal official” be tasked with overseeing reunification efforts. The request mirrored one made earlier this week by Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDem senator describes 'overcrowded quarters,' 'harsh odor' at border facilities Top Democrats demand security assessment of Trump properties Lawmakers pay tribute to late Justice Stevens MORE (D-N.Y.)

The lawmakers went on to ask for information on how many children have been separated since the zero tolerance policy went into effect, how many have been reunited with their parents, and what conditions they are living in at government-run facilities.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Booker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' Top Democrat insists country hasn't moved on from Mueller MORE signed an executive order last week halting the family separation policy.

Since then, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has said it has located each of the more than 2,000 children in the government's custody as a result of the policy. It has not given a timeline for when they might be reunited with their families.