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Parents of 500 separated migrant children yet to be found, lawyers say

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More than 500 children who were separated from their parents at the southern border during the Trump administration have not been reunited with their parents, lawyers for the parents say.

A committee of lawyers representing the parents said 322 of the 506 parents are believed to have been deported, according to NBC News, significantly complicating the reunification process. The parents of 105 children have been found in the last month, the lawyers reported.

Many of the parents agreed to be deported without their children in hopes that the children would be granted asylum, the lawyers said. 

The estimated 506 children still not reunited with their parents is slightly down from Jan. 14, the last time the group of lawyers reported the status of the legal effort to a federal judge that is overseeing the cases.

Early this month, the Biden administration announced plans to reunite children separated from their families at the United States-Mexico border. 

“It is the policy of my Administration to respect and value the integrity of families seeking to enter the United States,” President Biden said in the executive order. “My Administration will protect family unity and ensure that children entering the United States are not separated from their families, except in the most extreme circumstances where a separation is clearly necessary for the safety and well-being of the child or is required by law.”

Biden has faced some criticism over his immigration policy after Homeland Security officials opened a facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, that will be used to hold children ages 13 to 17.

“Our goal is for them to then be transferred to families or sponsors,” press secretary Jen Psaki said during a briefing on Wednesday. “So, this is our effort to ensure that kids are not in close proximity and that we are abiding by the health and safety standards that the government has been set out.”

–Updated at 12:01 p.m.

Tags Asylum Border Donald Trump family separation Immigration Jen Psaki Joe Biden Separated children Zero tolerance

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