“In contrast to the 2,800 families that were separated under zero tolerance in 2018, most of whom remained in custody when the policy was terminated by order of the executive branch, many of the 1,000-plus families were parents of their children as part of the pilot program were separated, before a federal judge in California ordered that they be found, ”report Julia Ainsley and Jacob Soboroff.
The US quickly deported these parents to Central America "with few records", the Washington Post said, recording "incomplete and often inaccurate data" with no plan for reunification. Due to the government's deliberate cruelty, children have been orphaned by the state and are still living with sponsor, ACLU attorney Lee Learned said NBC News.
"People ask when we're going to find all of these families and unfortunately I can't answer. I just don't know," he told NBC News. "But we won't stop looking until we find all the families, no matter how long it takes. The tragic reality is that hundreds of parents have been deported to Central America without their children who are staying here with foster families or distant relatives."
In addition to this crisis, the novel coronavirus pandemic has only stifled efforts on site to track down deported parents. "We had to stop completely because of the pandemic," Justice in Motion defender Dora Melara told KQED about the search efforts in Central America. “The government put the rules in place and we can't go out anymore. There was a strict curfew. “With a pandemic with no end in sight, the three-year wait for these children will only continue.
This was a crime against humanity committed by the U.S. government, but not one person – neither the indicted President Donald Trump nor any of his high-ranking officials – was held accountable for these crimes. These abuses have also been completely ignored in the President and Vice President debates, even after a shocking New York Times report showing that senior Justice Department officials, including former Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, specifically wanted to admit children, and then lied about it to us.
Should the presidential debate actually take place this week, moderator Kristen Welker will have to ask the candidates. If she doesn't, Democratic candidate Joe Biden will have to address it himself.
We also need to have a national conversation on how to repair this damage in a potential new administration. The reunification in the US and a road to citizenship should be the bare minimum. An effort in the manner of a truth and reconciliation commission should also be an absolute minimum. The fact is that while Trump could lose re-election next month, that's just not enough. These children and parents need justice – and the officials who committed these atrocities must be held accountable.
"545 children will sleep alone tonight because the Trump administration tore them away from their parents, lied about them, and then lost sight of them when they put them in danger." Families belong together Director Paola Luisi said in a statement received from Daily Kos. "For a sadistic immigration system in which six children died in cages, women were forced to undergo unnecessary operations, were deported in the middle of a pandemic, and women and children were refused to release despite terrible prison conditions, this is a given.
"It's easy," she continued. "We won't rest until every single child is reunited with their parents because the American people agree that families belong together."
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