Friday, November 9, marks 106 days since a federal judge’s reunification deadline, yet migrant children kidnapped from the arms of parents at the southern border continue to remain separated from their families, according to the most recently available numbers from the Trump administration.
Of 47 children eligible for reunification, tweeted MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff, the parents of 33 have already been deported. But the administration still has a much larger number of children under custody, including a group of 118 kids according to the latest American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) status report, “with parents presently departed from the United States whose intent not to reunify has been confirmed by the ACLU.” Perhaps some parents felt their child deserved a chance here. Perhaps others were coerced into being deported, as reports have indicated.
There is still a crisis, but it’s all the kids who continue to remain separated, not vulnerable asylum seekers still hundreds of miles away from the southern border. It’s the 1,500 unaccompanied migrant children being held in a Texas prison camp that could hold as many as 4,000 kids by the end of the year. It’s the government-contracted child detention facilities that have failed to properly vet the employees charged with caring for migrant kids.
This week’s Democratic sweep of the House of Representatives could finally mean answers, because Democratic legislators will have newfound power to subpoena and begin legitimate investigations. But any progress on this front won’t happen for months, when the new Congress is sworn in. This week we showed up to the polls say that we do care. Now in the meantime, we have to keep talking about the children. We’ve won this victory for them. Now we keep pushing on for them.