News & Politics

Trump Administration Shirks Its Duty and Callously Tells the ACLU to Find Immigrant Parents Deported Without Their Kids

The Trump administration cruel policy of separating immigrant families continues to have devastating consequences.

Photo Credit: Charles Edward Miller

In a stunning effort to avoid taking responsibility for its own disastrous actions, the Trump administration said Thursday that the American Civil Liberties Union should find the parents of immigrant children who were deported as a part of the family separation policy, a new Politico report revealed.

“Plaintiffs’ counsel should use their considerable resources and their network of law firms, NGOs, volunteers, and others, together with the information that defendants have provided (or will soon provide), to establish contact with possible class members in foreign countries,” the Department of Justice said in a court filing referring to the ACLU.

In response, the ACLU says that the Trump administration "must bear the ultimate burden of finding the parents."

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While some families that were separated under the administration's policies have been reunited, more than 400 parents are believed to have been deported without their children. 

In an appearance on Fox News, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had said the government will help reunite any parents with their children — if the parents get in contact with the authorities.

"If the parents contact us and they would like to be reunited, we, of course, will work with them," she said. "But as you know, the way the process works is the parents always have the choice to take the children with them. So, these are parents who have made the decision not to bring the children with them, and then we will continue to work with the court to understand how we can best comply with the order."

However, some advocates contest Nielsen's claims and say that the process is deeply confusing and stressful for the immigrants facing deportation — many of whom are making claims for asylum.

“Our attorney volunteers working with detained separated parents are seeing lots of people who signed forms that they didn’t understand,” Taylor Levy, a legal coordinator at Annunciation House in El Paso, told the New York Times in July. “They thought the only way they would see their child again is by agreeing to deportation.”

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Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.