Trump Administration Claims Reuniting Migrant Families Who Were Separated at U.S.-Mexico Border Could be Traumatic to the Children

Yeni Maricela Gonzalez Garcia with her children, from left, Lester, Deyuin and Jamelin, after they were reunited in New York on July 13, 2018. Gonzalez Garcia, from Guatemala, and her children were separated at an Arizona immigration facility.
Spencer Platt / Getty Images file

The Trump administration claimed that reuniting migrant families that were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border could be traumatic to the children who the administration separated from their parents.


Reuniting the thousands of children with their parents may not be “within the realm of the possible,” the Trump administration claimed in court documents filed late Friday.

In a statement from the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the federal agency said reuniting the children separated from their families could “destabilize the permanency of [the children’s] existing home environment, and could be traumatic to the children” to remove them from sponsor homes they placed following separation.

Jallyn Sualog, deputy director in the refugee resettlement office, said in Friday’s court filing that it would take up to eight hours to review each of the 47,083 cases between July 1, 2017 and a June 2018 court order from a San Diego federal judge saying children in government custody must be reunited with their parents. Doing so would “substantially imperil” operation without extensive hiring of more staff, Sualog said.

The court filings come as a result of a lawsuit from the ACLU scheduled to head back to court later this month. A hearing is set for Feb. 21.

“The Trump administration’s response is a shocking concession that it can’t easily find thousands of children it ripped from parents, and doesn’t even think it’s worth the time to locate each of them,” said ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt, who is leading the suit.

“The administration also doesn’t dispute that separations are ongoing in significant numbers.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter