Hispanic Lawmakers Press Cabinet Officials on Separated Children
While the fallout of family separations instituted by the Trump administration has slipped from the national spotlight, the issue remains a focus of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC). A federal judge in California ordered the government to reunify families by July 26th. Most families were reunited, but the government deemed about 100 parents or guardians ineligible for reunification due to prior criminal convictions, and had already deported about 400 parents without their children. CHC Chair Congresswoman Michelle Luján Grisham (D-NM), Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD), and 18 members of the CHC sent a follow-up letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions demanding answers about the number and status of children separated from their parents still held in detention facilities. “It is the federal government’s responsibility and obligation to ensure that every child that was separated is reunited with their parent or close family member. We, therefore, renew our request for a daily status update,” the lawmakers write. This correspondence is a follow up to the June 26th letter they sent to the same cabinet officials asking for details on the separated children and the Trump administration’s plans to reunite them with their parents. However, the lawmakers say the administration has not been able to adequately respond to the questions raised by members. “With all the resources at the Administration’s disposal, it is shocking that the federal government has been unable to resolve this human tragedy and has called on others to resolve this Administration-created crisis,” the lawmakers concluded. Read the full letter here.