Immigration Activists Bash Trump’s Family Reunification Plan

The federal government, rushing to meet a court-imposed deadline to reunite children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, has released a nine-page, flowchart-heavy plan detailing its process for family reunification.

Advocates for the thousands of children currently held in government custody are not impressed.

The document, titled “The Tri-Department Plan for Stage II of Family Reunification,” was released to journalists late on Wednesday evening by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department. In it, the three departments envision a five-step process to reunite an undetermined number of the estimated 2,551 minors between the ages of five and 17 still in HHS custody, although the release notes that “this number represents the total possible 5-and-up cohort of minors who could be subject to the court order” and is likely to include “a significant number of minors who are not eligible for reunification under the court’s order.”

In plain English: not all children will be returned to their families.

The plan—released more than three weeks after U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw ordered immigration authorities “to address a chaotic circumstance of the government’s own making” by reuniting the separated children with their families—seeks to reform what has been a slapdash government response to the self-made crisis. But leading advocates for immigrant and refugee rights dismissed the proposed plan of action as “pitiful.”

“Weeks and months after children were forcibly separated from their parents, violating international laws and any sense of moral decency, we cannot be impressed with a new flow chart outlining the process for reunification,” Catherine Tactaquin, executive director of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, told The Daily Beast. “The release of this plan—how many days after a court order of reunification?—is just pitiful.”

Read the full article, (featuring comments from our executive director) here:

Scott Bixby