HHS Has Reportedly Lost Track Of 20 Percent Of Separated Toddlers' Parents, Putting Reunifications In Jeopardy
Our previous concerns have unfortunately been realized.
An executive order brought the Trump administration's border family separation policy to an end, but it didn't magically reunite the families that had already been separated. Some reports have even claimed that separations continue, while others show that more children were ripped from their parents than initially reported.
Reunification is underway; the courts have ordered all families be reunited by July 10. The administration has until July 26 to address separation among remaining families.
However, a new Think Progress report has found that full reunification by that deadline will be all but possible. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar recently said the government could not meet the deadline due to issues with paperwork, lack of housing and tracking down parents. The Department of Health and Human Services claims 50 percent of separated children under five will be reunited by then.
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However, officials from the department have no idea where 20 percent of the parents of separated toddlers are.
NEW—Of ~100 toddlers who are supposed to be reunited with their parents by Tuesday:
About half have parents in ICE custody. They should be reunified by 7/10.
About ~20 have parents who were released from ICE custody; DOJ "can't commit" to reunifying by the deadline, govt says.— Emma Platoff (@emmaplatoff) July 6, 2018
Per govt. lawyer at a court conference this afternoon, of the separated children under 5:
83 kids matched to 86 parents. 16 kids not yet matched to parents.
Of 86 parents:
46 in ICE custody
19 released from ICE custody into the US
2 found to have criminal histories— Emma Platoff (@emmaplatoff) July 6, 2018
HHS has lost track of some of these parents because they were deported; others were released into the U.S. but can't be reached.
The government has not announced any plans for tracking down these lost parents.
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