Officials still attempting to reach parents of 368 separated migrant children: court filing

Officials still attempting to reach parents of 368 separated migrant children: court filing
© Getty Images

Officials are still attempting to contact the parents of 368 migrant children, according to court documents filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Thursday.

This number reflects a 23-person drop from the 391 children whose parents were being sought out in May. The parents of 275 of these children are believed to have been deported out of the U.S. while the parents of another 80 children are believed to be in the U.S.

There are currently 13 children for whom the government has not provided any contact information for either a parent, guardian, sponsor or attorney, according to the status report.

"We are making progress but there is still a long way to go," ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt said in a statement provided to The Hill.

The steering committee organized by the ACLU has attempted to contact the parents of these children through telephone calls as well as "on-the-ground searches" abroad. However, these efforts abroad have been hampered by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"These searches are ongoing by members of the Steering Committee, and we have recently devoted additional resources to these efforts," the court documents read.

Toll-free numbers to help connect parents with their children have been advertised across Spanish media platforms and through NGOs.

More than 5,000 migrant children are believed to have been separated from their parents under the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy. Last month, the Biden administration announced the first family reunifications, with parents from Central and South America being brought to the U.S. on humanitarian parole.