Meadows, Cummings urge Trump officials for more info on separated families

Meadows, Cummings urge Trump officials for more info on separated families
© Getty Images

Reps. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsTop Democrats demand answers on DHS plans to deploy elite agents to sanctuary cities House to vote next week on bill to create women's history museum The Hill's Morning Report - Icy moments between Trump, Pelosi mark national address MORE (D-Md.) and Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsHouse Freedom Caucus chairman endorses Collins's Georgia Senate bid Lawmakers grill Census Bureau officials after report on cybersecurity issues Conservative lawmakers warn Pelosi about 'rate-setting' surprise billing fix MORE (R-N.C.) wrote to a trio of Trump administration officials on Thursday seeking information on the children who have been separated from their families at the border. 

The two lawmakers wrote to Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsPresident Trump's assault on checks and balances: Five acts in four weeks On the Trail: Senate GOP hopefuls tie themselves to Trump Trump looms as flashpoint in Alabama Senate battle MORE, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenRussian interference reports rock Capitol Hill Acting DHS secretary says he expects Russia to attempt to interfere in 2020 elections House Homeland Security rip DHS's 'unacceptable' failure to comply with subpoena MORE and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. They requested biographical information about each of the migrant children in an effort to speed up the reunification process.


Cummings and Meadows asked the officials to provide each separated child’s age, gender and country of origin, as well as similar information for their parents. They also requested information about when and where the families were separated, where they are being detained and if the child has additional family members in the U.S.

Cummings and Meadows requested responses by 5 p.m. on July 19. 

Cummings and other Democrats have in recent weeks written to Azar, Nielsen and Sessions in search of answers about the administration’s policies toward family separation, as well as how it plans to reunite migrant children with their parents. 

Meadows's addition to Cummings's letter reflects the growing bipartisan pressure facing the Trump administration over how it plans to reunite families separated under its “zero tolerance” policy in recent months. Meadows is the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.

Sessions announced in April that immigrants who cross the border illegally would be arrested and criminally prosecuted. As a result, children of those apprehended would be taken from the parents and detained separately.

Lawmakers decried the policy as "cruel" and "inhumane." President TrumpDonald John TrumpAdvisor: Sanders could beat Trump in Texas Bloomberg rips Sanders over Castro comments What coronavirus teaches us for preventing the next big bio threat MORE signed an executive order last month halting the separations, despite claiming for days that only Congress had the power to end the practice.

The president has since turned his focus to railing against the country's immigration policies and demanding Congress pass stricter laws. He has repeatedly called for illegal immigrants to be deported from the country without being allowed to appear in court.