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 SessionsTrump reignites court fight with Ninth Circuit pick Democrats press Nadler to hold Lewandowski in contempt Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' MORE, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenKirstjen Nielsen drops out of Atlantic Media event after liberal backlash Pence taps former DHS spokeswoman as his new press secretary DHS officials called lawmaker visit to migrant detention facility a 'Hill stunt' MORE and immigration officials to request additional information.

Rep. Jared PolisJared Schutz PolisDemocrats grill BLM chief over plans to move officials out of DC Colorado governor pokes fun at FaceApp Number of openly LGBTQ elected officials rose nearly 25 percent since 2018: report 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 SchumerSchumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall 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 TrumpAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Ukrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' 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.