Children remain separated from their parents as court deadline passes

Written by: Sarah Barnes
Date Posted: July 27, 2018

Thursday was the court-ordered deadline for the Trump administration to reunite all of the children separated from their parents at the U.S. border under the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy. While the administration has reunited many families that were separated at the border, according to a court filing by the U.S. Justice Department on Thursday, 711 children remain separated from their parents, including 431 children whose parents are no longer in the U.S., in many cases due to deportation.

As many as three quarters of those parents may not have been given a choice about whether to leave their children behind in the U.S., and the administration may not have the information required to reconnect these children with their parents since it does not track people once they have been forcibly removed from the United States. This will further delay the reunification of these families, which continues to result in significant and long-lasting consequences for the safety, health, development and well-being of the children who remain separated from their parents.

Ranking members of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee are renewing their call for an oversight hearing on family separations due to new concerns raised by a briefing this week. In the meantime, Congress has yet to pass legislation to permanently stop the separation of families at the U.S. border. Bipartisan negotiations on a permanent fix in the U.S. Senate stalled this week.

Sarah Barnes

About Sarah Barnes

Sarah serves as the Policy Analyst for the Colorado Children’s Campaign. Prior to joining the Children’s Campaign in September 2014, Sarah taught middle school English and worked as an Interventionist at Pioneer Charter School in Denver. She was a 2011 Teach For America corps member. Prior to teaching, Sarah worked as an attorney in Denver in the areas of venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, general corporate and business law, and commercial transactions. Sarah earned a BA in English from Midland University and a J.D. from the University of Michigan.