Officials still looking for parents of 337 separated children, court filing says
Officials are still trying to contact the parents of 337 children who were separated at the border during the Trump administration, according to a new court filing.
The parents of 31 children were discovered over the past month, according to the new documents. In early July, the groups disclosed that officials were still trying to contact the parents of 368 migrant children.
The court filings are part of a continuous effort by the Justice Department and the American Civil Liberties Union to connect children with their parents after the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy separated families.
Roughly 250 children of the remaining 337 are believed to have parents who were removed from the U.S. after they were separated from their families, according to the court filing.
About 75 of the remaining children’s parents are believed to be in the U.S. Twelve children do not have a phone number listed that is associated with the parent, child, sponsor or attorney.
The third group decreased by one child since the last filing.
President Biden signed an executive order in February establishing an interagency task force to reunite families separated at the border. Officials have reportedly been searching thousands of records to calculate how many families are still separated, according to CNN.
Since the establishment of the task force, a total of 45 separated children have been reunited with their parents in the U.S., according to the court filing.
The Department of Health and Human Services also created a process to accept parole requests, according to CNN. As of Aug. 10, 59 people have been paroled, according to the filing.
The number of children still separated from their families has decreased month after month. The groups revealed in May that it was still working to locate 391 children, which was down from the list of 445 reported in April.
The steering committee tasked with trying to contact parents of the separated migrant children has taken part in “time-consuming and arduous on-the-ground searches for parents,” according to the filing.
The searches have focused on countries that are the homes of parents who were removed from the U.S. after being separated from their children.
The on-the-ground searches have been “ongoing when it is safe to do so,” but some of the efforts have been limited or stalled because of risks associated with COVID-19.