The United States will seek legal means for migrant families separated at the United States-Mexico border as part of a Trump-era policy to stay in the United States if they choose, the Department of Justice said on Monday. Homeland Security (DHS).
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas blasted President Donald Trump’s previous administration for separating more than 5,400 children from their parents under Trump. “zero tolerance” Politics.
As part of the policy put in place in 2017, the children were placed in detention centers and then placed with foster families, causing a general outcry. The parents were prosecuted and then expelled. The policy was discontinued in 2018.
More … than 500 children would still be separated after the task force successfully located more than 100 families. Mayorkas said these families would have the option of settling in the United States.
“We hope to reunite families, here or in the country of origin,” he said at a press conference at the White House. “And if, in fact, they seek to reunite here in the United States, we will explore legal avenues for them to remain in the United States and to meet the needs of the family.”
But Mayorkas said establishing a more humane border policy would take time.
“It takes time to come out of the depths of cruelty that the administration before us has established,” Mayorkas said.
“It takes time to rebuild an entire system and treat people at the border safely and fairly, which is especially true when we are in the midst of the pandemic.”
Although the Biden administration has pledged never to impose such a policy again, how the United States will treat migrants at the border, including unaccompanied minors, remains unclear.
Mayorkas said there are currently 200 migrant children crossing the border every day, in addition to another 1,000 crossing points on Monday.
“We are facing a challenge at the border, the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security are rising to this challenge,” he said. “It’s a stressful challenge,” adding that the Biden administration has dedicated resources, including staff dedicated to managing the flow of people.
The Biden administration is criticized by immigration advocates for keeping in place “Title 42,” a provision put in place by Trump, which uses the pandemic as a reason for allowing the swift deportation of those seeking the asylum at an American border.
Mayorkas defended the decision.
“If single adults come to the border, we are required to serve public health, including the health of the very people who are considering coming – to impose travel restrictions under CDC Title 42 from federal authorities. and send them back to Mexico, and we did, ”he said.
“We need people to wait.”